Sept. 20, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Sophomore Betty Chen's 4-under 69 in the second round helped push her into third place while UC Davis dropped 12 strokes from its morning round, as the Aggie women's golf team charged into third place at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational at the University of New Mexico on Friday.
Chen had a 74 in the first round and is 3-under 143 heading into Saturday's final 18 holes. Junior Beverly Vatananugulkit, who is tied for eighth placeat even par, and sophomore Andrea Wong each broke par in the afternoon round as well, firing rounds of 72. Freshman Paige Lee and senior Jessica Chulya came in with 75s.
It all helped the Aggies card a 4-under 288 in the second round, the second-best afternoon score in the 16-team tournament. UC Davis is 4 over 588 after 36 holes and trails second-place Oregon (585) by just three strokes and is seven back of leader Pepperdine (581).
Chen enjoyed a spectacular, bogey-free second round, collecting birdies on two of her first five holes and then picking up two more later. She added 14 pars to finish with a a 69 and tie her career-best score which she also had at last season's NCAA Central Regional. Chen had two birdies in her first round along with 13 pars and just three bogeys.
Chen is tied for third with Sirene Blair of San Diego State. Cassy Isagawa of Oregon is 8 under and leads Pepperdine's Somin Lee by four shots. Only seven players are in the red after 36 holes.
Vatananugulkit had four birdies in each of her two rounds on Friday, including three on the back nine of the UNM Championship Course which she played 3 under. She opened the day with three early bogeys before fighting back to play her last 12 holes an impressive four shots below par. Vatananugulkit had four birdies in her strong opening round of 1-over 74.
Lee was consistent over her first 36 holes, particularly in her first round when she covered the course's back nine 1 under after a birdie and eight pars. She posted a strong 74 before adding three birdies in the afternoon to help her card a 75. She 3 over overall and tied for 19th.
Wong opened with an 80 but then improved well in the afternoon with a 1-under 72. She had back-to-back birdies on her fourth and fifth holes and then added two birdies over her last three to push herself into the red. Wong is at 6-over 152 and tied for 32nd.
Chulya, who is tied for 41st at 7-over 153, had three birdies over her last 10 holes as she shot 78. She then played the front nine of her second round even and was just 2 over on the back to come in with her 75.
The tournament is the first of two over the next several days for UC Davis. After Saturday's play, the Aggies will travel to Vail, Colo., for the Golfweek Conference Challenge which starts on Monday.
BRANCH LAW FIRM/DICK McGUIRE INVITATIONAL
Albuquerque, N.M. (hosted by Univ. of New Mexico)
UNM Championship Course
Par 73, 6,192 yards
36 of 54 holes
1. Pepperdine, 290-291-581
2. Oregon, 299-286-585
3. UC DAVIS, 300-288-588
T4. Northwestern, 296-293-589
T4. Iowa State, 297-292-589
6. Colorado, 295-304-599
7. San Diego State, 303-398-601
8. Oregon State, 299-306-605
9. New Mexico, 307-301-608
10. UNLV, 301-309-610
11. Texas Tech, 309-306-615
12. Fresno State, 306-312-618
13. Iowa, 311-311-622
14. UTEP, 309-317-626
15. Nevada, 314-314-628
16. Wyoming, 320-311-631
1. Cassy Isagawa, 70-68-138