Feb. 25, 2014
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Sophomore Betty Chen posted her second straight top-10 finish and her fourth of the season, carding a 3-under 69 to tie for fourth on Tuesday at the UC Irvine Invitational at Santa Ana Country Club.
UC Davis had its best round of the 54-hole tournament, shooting a 4-over 292. It was a seven-shot improvement over the Aggies' second-round score and helped them finish sixth in the 13-team tournament.
Paige Lee and Blair Lewis enjoyed their best rounds of the tournament, finishing tied for 24th and 32nd, respectively. Lewis cut nine shots off her second-round tally, firing a 72, while Lee carded a 74. Sophomore Andrea Wong shot 77 and tied for 27th while Beverly Vatananugulkit tied for 52nd after posting 79.
The Aggies finished 35 over for the week, well ahead of seventh-place Portland State (+57) and close to fifth-place Long Beach State (+30). Eighth-ranked Stanford was even and beat No. 37 Texas A&M (+13) by double-digit shots. Pepperdine (+15) placed third while Gonzaga (+17) took fifth.
Chen led the way for UC Davis, putting together a spectacular round that featured four birdies, just one bogey and 13 pars. She was even on the front nine before posting a birdie on the par-5 10th. Chen ended her day with two consecutive birdies.
She was even for the week and was just four shots behind winner Mariah Stackhouse of Stanford. Chen was eighth last week at Stanford's Peg Barnard Invitational, won a tournament at Indiana in the fall and was seventh at New Mexico for other impressive top-10 showings.
Lewis' 72 started well with a birdie on the par-5 first hole and ended with a birdie on the par-5 18th. In between, she had just two bogeys and collected 14 pars and finished the tournament 15 over. Lee picked up two birdies, including the closing 18th hole, and helped highlight her day by playing the front nine even. She was 13 over for the tournament.
Wong, who was 14 over overall, was only 1 over on her first nine holes and like three of her teammates, birdied the 18th. Vatananugulkit was just 3 over on the back as she finished 22 over for the week.
Stackhouse beat Grace Na of Pepperdine by two shots. With the win, she earned a spot in the LPGA's Kia Classic on Mar. 27-30 in Carlsbad.
UC Davis returns to action on Monday and Tuesday at the Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational hosted by San Jose State.
UC IRVINE INVITATIONAL
Santa Ana, Calif. (hosted by UC Irvine)
Santa Ana Country Club
Par 72, 5,842 yards
1. Stanford, 289-289-286-864
2. Texas A&M, 297-291-289-877
3. Pepperdine, 298-294-287-879
4. Gonzaga, 303-295-293-891
5. Long Beach State, 306-298-290-894
6. UC DAVIS, 308-299-292-899
7. Portland State, 307-307-306-921
8. UC Irvine, 306-310-306-922
9. Hawaii, 303-314-309-926
10. San Francisco, 309-309-310-928
11. Nevada, 315-305-315-935
12. Idaho, 313-312-315-940
13. UC Riverside, 310-317-314-941
1. Mariah Stackhouse, 70-69-73-212