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Monday, September 27, 2021

Women’s golf looks to four-peat at Big West Championships

While most will be complaining about standing around in the heat at Picnic Day this weekend, the UC Davis golf teams will have no time to whine as they soldier on to their respective tournaments.

The men’s golf team will co-host the Winchester Classic in Meadow Vista, Calif. from April 19 to April 21.

Last year, the Aggies finished in a three-way tie for second place and were led by current junior Matt Seramin and sophomore Mike Brockington.

Seramin played a consistent couple of rounds to tie for second in the tournament, as he never dropped out of the top-five individual competitors. Brockington put up a 68 to boost himself up eleven spots from 15th to fourth.

UC Davis has enjoyed the return of senior Tyler Raber this year, as he has been posting low numbers for the Aggies all year long.

The tournament at the Winchester Country Club, just as it has in the past, precedes the Big West Conference Championships and will act as a good warm-up for UC Davis.

Raber will bring an abundance of experience to the course for the two-time defending champion Aggies when the Big West Championships arrive. UC Davis took a young roster last year and stunned the golfing world by surging ahead to take a conference championship

The Aggies are coming off of an eighth place finish at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, where junior Jonny Baxter fired a 212 total to stand in 11th place overall. Raber followed that up with a 215 over three rounds to tie for 23rd.

On the women’s tees, UC Davis has enjoyed considerable success this season as expected. The Aggies will compete in the Big West Championship tournament on Sunday April 20 through April 23.

UC Davis has taken the past three Big West titles and shows no signs of slowing. The Aggies are currently ranked 16th in the country, led by No. 22 Demi Runas.

The senior is coming off of a second place performance at the Ping/ASU Invitational, which is, in fact, a step down from her performance at the tournament last year despite a lower score this year. Runas shot a 209 this past weekend, a couple strokes more than in 2012, when she shot a 212 and placed first.

Still, the Aggies are more than just a strong top-player. Their depth is truly what has gotten them far in these tournaments. Though Runas has led UC Davis in most of the competitions this year, the Aggies have had substantial contributions from every player playing in the subsequent spots.

From senior Amy Simanton, sophomores Blair Lewis and Bev Vatananugulkit, freshmen Andrea Wong, Betty Chen and Raegan Bremer and junior Jessica Chulya, all have gotten playing time and all have put up impressive numbers.

This will provide some safety and relieve some of the pressure on the players, knowing they can depend on anyone that gets the call to play.

This well-balanced attack will be difficult for other teams to overcome at the Big West tournament, where the Aggies have had considerable success in the recent past. Last year, it was Vatananugulkit that posted the top score for UC Davis with a 220 en route to the Aggies’ first place finish.

If the Aggies are to four-peat as Big West champions and continue their dynasty-in-the-making, they just need to play how they have been all season.

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

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