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Sunday, September 26, 2021

No. 16 women’s golf to compete at NCAA regionals in Oklahoma

While the UC Davis men’s golf team’s season came to an unfortunate end, the women’s team will continue its hot streak at the NCAA Central Regional at the University of Oklahoma.

The men’s team placed third at the Big West Conference Championships behind Pacific and Cal State Fullerton in a close battle.

The Tigers and the Titans went to a playoff round with identical 887 scores, which Pacific pulled out to take the league title. The Aggies closed up with a tidy 890 at the Country Club at Soboba Springs in San Jacinto, behind the two tied first-place teams.

The Aggies were hoping to receive an at-large bid into the NCAA regional at Washington State, but were not selected. Thus closes the 2012-13 campaign for the UC Davis men’s team, finishing up at 69th in the rankings.

“We were excited to be right in the hunt for consideration to be selected,” said head coach Cy Williams. “Even though we didn’t get selected, we have a great group of guys and I know they would have been ready to play.”

For some individuals on the men’s team, the season is not yet over. Senior Tyler Raber was selected to compete in the NCAA men’s golf regional championships. This will take place at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash. on May 16 to 18.

This is Raber’s third appearance in the regional championships. He has been the Aggies’ low scorer this year, averaging a 72.3 this season. His top finish was fourth at the U.S. Intercollegiate at Stanford in March with a six-under total.

Experience on the pro circuit in his redshirt season last year should help Raber out in his quest to improve on his 43rd and 45th place finishes in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

Should Raber finish as the top individual not on a team, he will advance to the national finals that will take place late in the month in Atlanta, Ga.

On the women’s side of the course, UC Davis has had slightly more success. The Aggies won the Big West Championships and are currently ranked 16th in the nation.

They will play at the Central Regional on the Jimmie Austin Golf course at the University of Oklahoma in attempts to qualify for nationals, held at University of Georgia later in the month.

The Aggies are seeded sixth at their regional under head coach Anna Temple in her first year after succeeding coach Anne Walker, who migrated over to Stanford to coach.

Seniors Demi Runas and Amy Simanton will be fighting for their last collegiate competitions to continue on a bid to get to the National tournament, backed by this year’s Big West freshman of the year Andrea Wong, second time all-conference first-team selection sophomore Beverly Vatananugulkit, and freshman Betty Chen, All-Big West honorable mention.

Runas, the Big West player of the year for the third season, will lead UC Davis in a field that consists of two teams in the top five — Duke and Oklahoma — and a couple other teams ranked higher than the Aggies. In the NCAA rankings, UC Davis places 25th, compared to their golfstat.com ranking of No. 16.

Either way, the Aggies will come in looking to place in the top eight teams in order to advance to the national tournament in Athens, Ga.

“We have been practicing really well and our team is really motivated to continue our good play this spring,” Temple said. “This is a new course for us so it will be key to gain as much information as we can in the practice round and then just play one day at a time.”

UC Davis tees off on Thursday at 6:36 p.m. grouped with No. 10 Washington and No. 15 Arizona State.

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

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