April 12, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. - Demi Runas, Beverly Vatananugulkit and Andrea Wong each fired 1-under 71's on Friday while helping lift No. 16 UC Davis to a 1-under team score and a tie for sixth place with Texas A&M after the first round of the PING/ASU Invitational.
The Aggie trio are tied for 18th place while senior Amy Simanton contributed a 74 and is tied for 41st. Sophomore Blair Lewis shot 87 and is in 88th place. The tournament is being hosted by Arizona State at the 6,233-yard ASU Karsten Golf Course.
UC Davis (287) and Texas A&M are among seven teams below par after the first round of the three-day tournament and trail No. 11 UCLA which set the early pace with a 9-under 279 score. Second-ranked Duke (280) is just a shot back while top-ranked USC (283), No. 3 Alabama (284) and No. 21 Texas round out the top five.
The tournament is the most competitive of the spring so far for UC Davis with five participating teams ranked among Golfstat's top 10, along with six others in the top 25.
"I am very pleased with our result today," said head coach Anna Temple. "Yesterday, the team had a great practice round and prepared themselves extremely well for today's play. This is a great field and after today's round we are in a good position for the weekend.
Runas, the defending co-medalist along with Ani Gulugian of UCLA, helped lead the way for UC Davis on Friday morning, playing an extremely steady round. It opened with a birdie on the par-4 1st hole, featured another on the par-3 12th, and had 15 pars and just one bogey on the remaining holes. Runas, ranked 22nd among all NCAA Div. I golfers by Golfstat, was 1 under for the final 13 holes of her round.
Vatananugulkit started strong with birdies on her first two holes and then had another one on the par-3 6th hole, before playing the last 12 holes of her round just 1 shot over par while collecting 11 pars. Wong had three birdies in the first round, all of them over a seven-hole stretch covering both sides of the course. Wong was 1 under over the last 11 holes.
Simanton was 3 over after three holes but then rebounded impressively to tame her final 15 holes a shot below par. She highlighted that run with consecutive birdies on the 9th and 10th holes. Lewis played her last nine holes three shots better than her opening nine.
"Andrea and Bev had great rounds and stepped up for the team," Temple said. "Amy had a big number early, but played the rest of her round 1 under par which showed great fortitude. And Demi is continuing with her stellar play."
Laetitia Beck of Duke and Washington's Jennifer Yang share the early lead after firing 67's. They have a one-shot advantage over five other players. Twenty-six players broke par during the first round.
UC Davis will begin its second round on Saturday at 8:40 a.m. and will play with Texas and Alabama.
Tempe, Ariz. (hosted by Arizona State)
ASU Karsten Golf Course
Par 72, 6,223 yards
18 of 54 holes
1. UCLA, 279
2. Duke, 280
3. USC, 283
4. Alabama, 284
5. Texas, 286
T6. UC DAVIS, 287
T6. Texas A&M, 287
8. Arizona, 288
9. Stanford, 289
T10. South Carolina, 291
T10. Arizona State, 291
T12. TCU, 292
T12. Washington, 292
14. Colorado, 298
15. UNLV, 305
16. Oregon, 311
17. California, 313
T1. Laetitia Beck, Duke, 67
T1. Jennifer Yang, Washington, 67