What can UC Davis fans expect from the Women’s golf team this year? If the beginning of their season is any indication, then a whole lot.
Collegiate golf seasons is split in two sections, with the fall portion of their competition already completed. Brandishing an impressive set of finishes – one second place and two third place results – the Aggies are prepared for a successful spring season.
“Going into the spring, it’s really more about being consistent, even on our days that aren’t so great,” said coach Anna Temple.
The accomplishments of some players are enough to highlight the talent of this team. With sophomore Paige Lee having competed in the U.S. Open and senior Blair Lewis playing in the U.S. Public Links this past year, it gives a testament to the type of players this program churns out. Golfweek ranks the women’s team at 33rd in the country, which pits them against other powerhouse teams like UCLA, Duke and Stanford, to name a few.
With the same five players returning from last year, the Aggies’ biggest strength is their cumulative experience. They share a camaraderie as well as a burning desire to win.
“We didn’t make nationals last year, but this year we’re really motivated and ready to come back really strong for the spring,” said junior Andrea Wong. “I think everyone in the back of their minds knows what we’re out here for and what we’re wanting to achieve.”
This year the Women’s Championships will be conducted differently than previous tournaments. For the first time, NCAA women will play a combination of stroke play and match play – three rounds of stroke play will determine who will be paired up and go on for the final round of match play.
Earlier in the year, the Aggies’ were able to experience this type of play during the East and West Match Play Challenge in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Wong placed 1st out of 48 players. This marked her premier individual victory, and provided her with fuel for future matches.
“It was definitely a huge hurdle because that’s one of my goals, obviously – to win a collegiate tournament,” said Wong. “After you get a taste of it, you just want more, you know?”
With practice resuming after the winter break, the team is now able to start on the path to achieve their goals for the rest of the season.
“We want to compete against the best,” said Temple. “It’s not so much about playing or thinking about one particular team, but really maximizing what we do well and making that consistent week in and week out so that we can compete with the best teams every single week.”
The remaining season holds great promise for the Aggies. They will compete in Stanford for the second time this year and they will travel to Dallas, Texas and Hawaii during the coming months.
“Going out to Dallas will be a cool experience,” said Wong. “And of course Hawaii. Can’t be mad about that.”
The Aggies will host the Big West Championship for the the first time in late April. Wong is looking forward to the opportunity.
“It’ll be fun, I’m really excited to have it hosted here, just because it is our home course and it will give an opportunity for people on campus who like golf [to come and watch], or just for our friends and family to come and support us.”