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Sunday, September 26, 2021

UC Davis golf teams optimistic for weekend games

Last week, the women’s golf team captured seventh place in the Hawai’i Tournament. Sophomore Beverly Vatananugulkit scored an eagle and three birdies to sustain a 1-under 771 lead. She finished the tournament tied for 12th place.

The Aggies shot 13-over 301 on the first day and tied for ninth with No. 24 Denver, No. 39 Oregon and Colorado. Vatananugulkit began with a birdie on the sixth hole and picked up two more birdies the rest of the way, finishing the day with a 71.

At the Spring Break Classic, sophomore Blair Lewis played her final 14 holes on Tuesday three shots under par, shooting a 1-under 71 to keep her in ninth place. With an impressive round, Lewis was able to jump 29 spots on the leaderboard, leading her into a tie for 33rd place at 5-over 149. Vatananugulkit shot 74 and tied for 11th at the end of the day, while fellow senior Amy Simanton is tied for 49th at 9-over after carding a 77.

On the final day of the Hawai’i Classic, Vatananugulkit’s 1-under 71 during the final round lifted UC Davis to seventh in the final standings. The Aggies scored a 5-over 293 over the final 18 holes and 26-over 890 for the 54-hole tournament.

Next Friday, on April 12, the women’s golf team will compete in the PING/ASU Invitational at Arizona State. Last year, the Aggies tied for fifth place after beating two top-10 teams. Senior Demi Runas had a 2-over 74 to claim co-medalist honors with a 1-under total. Senior Amy Simanton had a team-best 73 during Sunday’s final round of the PING/ASU Invitational.

The No. 1-ranked UCLA Bruins captured first place, finishing the day with a 3-under 565.

UC Davis, who shot 19-over 303 during last year’s windy final round, tied No. 3 USC at 29-over 881 while finishing ahead of No. 8 LSU, who finished ninth, and No. 7 Vanderbilt, who finished 12th.

Runas posted her third straight top-10 finish and her fifth of the season. In addition, Simanton had an outstanding effort for UC Davis, carding birdies on two of the course’s three par-5 holes while playing both the front and back just 1-over.

Overall, last year’s tournament was a success for the Aggies, as several teammates shined throughout the course of their stay in Arizona. This year ought to be no different. With a few solid wins under their belt and solid performances from their stars, the Aggies should perform well at the three-day invitational.

Alongside the women’s golf team, the men’s golf team finished eighth at Arizona State’s tournament on Sunday. Senior Tyler Raber’s par-71 led UC Davis in the final round of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational while junior Jonny Baxter finished 11th.

“I thought we did a really good job coming back the last two rounds after putting ourselves in a tough spot after the first round,” said head coach Cy Williams. “We finished ahead of Arizona State, which is ranked 43rd, on their home course so that’s a pretty big win for us.”

UC Davis will return to competition April 19 to 21 when it co-hosts the Winchester Classic with Nevada at Winchester Country Club in Meadow Vista.

Last year, Fresno State won the Winchester Classic with 10-over 874, while the Aggies came in second. Although the Aggies trailed by 10 strokes, they were able to come within two shots of the Bulldogs. However, Fresno State was able to pull away with a 13-stroke victory.

VEENA BANSAL can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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