May 10, 2014
CLE ELUM, Wash. - Blair Lewisshot a final-round 78 on Saturday to lead the UC Davis women's golf to 12th place - one spot in front of their No. 13 seed - at the NCAA West Regional at Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort.
The Aggies were hoping to finish in a top-eight position which would have earned them a berth into the NCAA Finals for the second straight year and the fourth time overall. They shot a 31-over 319 during windy conditions on Saturday and were 63-over 927 for the week.
Lewis, who had a hole-in-one during the opening round of the tournament on Thursday tied with teammates Betty Chen and Paige Lee for 44th place at 15 over. Chen and Lee both shot 80 on Saturday. Sophomore Andrea Wong tied for 61st after her final-round 82 put her 19 over overall, and junior Beverly Vatananugulkittied for 96th at 26 over after shooting 81.
UC Davis was in strong contention through the first two rounds for a berth to the NCAA Finals in Tulsa, Okla., later this month. It was in a battle with six teams between sixth and 11th place that were within just six shots of each other after two rounds.
Top-ranked USC (+12) won the regional by one shot over 11th-ranked Washington (+13), which also served as tournament host. Other teams to move onto the NCAA Finals include No. 6 Arizona State (+25), No. 7 Oklahoma (+31), No. 23 Michigan State (+39), No. 27 Iowa State (+45), No. 36 Texas A&M (+45) and No. 19 Northwestern (+50).
UC Davis, ranked 37th, finished two shots ahead of 13th-ranked Clemson (+65) and seven in front of No. 32 Oregon. (+70).
"It's disappointing that our season ends today," said Aggie coach Anna Temple. "We had a good strategy but our execution didn't match. We competed with some great teams and what we learn from this event, as well as this season, will only make us a better team going forward."
Lewis led the Aggies on the final day, playing both sides of the 6,252-yard course three shots over par. She had birdies on the par-5 14th hole and the par-3 17th, the same hole she aced in the first round.
Chen had back-to-back birdies on the par-5 14th and 15th holes but was 6 over at her turn. She battled back and played the front nine just two shots over par. Lee had 11 pars and was just 3 over on her first nine holes. Wong started her day with six consecutive pars to help cover her front nine just 3 over while Vatananugulkit was also only 3 over after nine holes to help highlight her final round.
Arizona State's Noemi Jimenez finished 3-under 213 to post a one-shot win over SooBin Kim of Washington and Annie Park of USC. Clariss Guce (+5) of Cal State Northridge and Tonje Daffinrud (+7) of Denver advanced to the NCAA Finals as individuals.
The regional brings to a close another outstanding season for UC Davis which was making its fifth straight regional appearance after winning the Big West Championship for the fifth consecutive year. The Aggies won two tournaments - the Indiana Hoosier Fall Invitational and the conference tournament - and had an individual winner in Betty Chen who captured the event at Indiana.
Chen, Vatananugulkit and Lee earned All-Big West first-team honors while Wong was an honorable mention selection. Temple, in her second year, was named the Big West Coach of the Year for the second time.
UC Davis returns its entire starting lineup from this year's regional to next year's team.
NCAA WEST REGIONAL
Cle Elum, Wash. (hosted by the Univ. of Washington)
Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort
Par 72, 6,252 yards
1. USC, 284 -294-298-876
2. Washington, 288 -292-297-877
3. Arizona State, 289-289-311-889
4. Oklahoma, 291-295-309-895
5. Michigan State, 291-311-301-903
T6. Iowa State, 300 -305-304-909
T6. Texas A&M, 290 -313-306-909
8. Northwestern, 302-296-316-914
T9. Wake Forest, 304-303-314-921
T9. Wisconsin, 301 -305-315-921
11. GRU Augusta, 305-306-311-922
12. UC DAVIS, 300-308-319-927
13. Clemson, 302-312-315-929
14. Oregon, 311 -314-309-934
15. New Mexico, 314 -310-315-939
16. Tennessee, 306 -317-319-942
17. Chattanooga, 316-312-319-947
18. Notre Dame, 316 -311-322-949
19. Denver, 302 -320-328-950
20. Gonzaga, 317 -319-318-954
T21. San Diego State, 317 -318-320-955
T21. Portland State. 314-315-326-955
23. New Mexico State, 317-328-326-971
24. Detroit Mercy, 336-316-327-979
1. Noemi Jimenez, Arizona State, 67-74-72-213