Once again, the 17th-ranked UC Davis women’s golf team has established their dominance out on the course, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga. after finishing sixth at the NCAA Central Regionals.
From top to bottom, this roster of eight has demonstrated what it takes to be one of the top-ranked teams in the nation. In particular, the seniors and freshmen have been essential in the team’s path to nationals in Georgia.
“Two big things that the seniors have done are show the underclassmen what Davis golf is all about and are extremely passionate about the game,” said coach Anna Temple.
In her last season as an Aggie, senior Demi Runas was named Big West Player of the Year for the third year in a row. Once again this season, Runas displayed why she deserved that honor, winning individual titles at the Big West Championships and the Golfweek Conference Challenge last September.
To add to these accomplishments, she tied for second in four other tournaments and had eight top-10 finishes overall. With a 72.4 stroke average coming into this last tournament, there are high hopes for another outstanding performance when play opens May 21.
“The level of competition on a daily basis is incredible and allowed for the entire team to get better,” Temple said about the team as a whole.
Other standout players this year include up-and-coming freshman Andrea Wong, who was named Freshman of the Year for the Big West.
Multiple Aggies were also named to All-Big West first team: senior Amy Simanton, sophomore Beverly Vatananugulkit, Wong and Runas. To add to the already stacked team, freshmen Raegan Bremer and Betty Chen received honorable mentions at the ceremony.
UC Davis women’s golf is one of the top performing athletic teams at UC Davis, winning the Big West Championships four years in a row. They hope to continue the success of this year in Georgia.
The penultimate tournament for Division I women’s golf is the next step for a dominant Aggies team. The Aggies are ready to fight for the prized top honor of winning the NCAA Championship. Athletes will face off against a field of 24 teams and six individuals.
May 21 to 24 will be a long week of golf for the entire UC Davis squad, but Temple has confidence in the girls’ abilities.
“Confidence is high. We’re a long-hitting team and this is a long course; it suits us well,” coach Temple said. “With two of our players being seniors and this being their last tournament, they can play knowing they have nothing to lose.”
Unlike most tournaments, the team is playing an extra round in Athens, adding up to 72 holes in all over the course of four days.
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” coach Temple said. “With a long course like this you can make a bogey or two and have a lot of holes to recover and get it back. We just have to make sure we are present in each round.”
The competition this week will be tough, but the Aggies know what they are up against, having already faced three of the top seeds at the tournament earlier this year. However, Temple and the girls know what a great opportunity this is to compete for the highest trophy in the sport.
Play commences on May 21, with the first round of 18 holes being played at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
SLOAN BOETTCHER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.