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Davis, California

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Aggies finish fifth in prestigious Arizona tournament

The UC Davis women’s golf team traveled to Arizona to compete in the Ping/ASU Invitational, which coach Anne Walker cites as “one of the country’s oldest and most famous tournaments.”
With a playing field stacked with five of the top 10 ranked teams in the nation, No. 26 UC Davis had its hands full.
But the Aggies did more than just hold their own at Karsten Golf Course. UC Davis tied for fifth place with third-ranked USC, behind teams such as top-ranked UCLA and No. 5 Arizona State.
“Every year it’s stacked with top teams and it’s a very competitive field,” Walker said. “It felt like we were playing in the NCAA tournament.”
The Aggies posted a total team score of 881 over the tournament, but were in a good position to place even higher, if not for a rough last day in which they posted a 19 over par as a team.
“We’ve had one big round that might have cost us our titles a couple times this year,” Walker said. “We just explode sometimes, and we need to be more consistent all three rounds.”
UC Davis was led by juniors Demi Runas and Amy Simanton, who posted a one-under and 11-over, respectively. Runas’ performance was good for co-medalist honors, her second career tournament title.
Excluding the aberrational final day of competition, the Aggies put forth strong performances across the board. Their first round was their best, when they shot two-over as a team. Their eight-over on the second day was one of the top three scores after two rounds, but their 19-over dropped them down to fifth to conclude the tournament.
“[Runas] and [Simanton] have been very key to our success this year — when they play well, we do well,” Walker said. “We had very good contributions from our younger classmen, like [freshman] Blair Lewis got better every day, and it was a whole team effort.”
Despite the last round, Walker and her team are very proud of their performance.
“We’re where we want to be, we’re playing great golf, and we just need to work hard,” she said.
The Aggies will have a couple weeks off before returning to action on April 16 in the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate in Half Moon Bay.

MATTHEW YUEN can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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