Sept. 24, 2012
VAIL, Colo. - Demi Runas eagled the 333-yard, par-4 eighth hole at Red Sky Golf Club's Fazio Course on Monday morning, on her way to a tie for seventh place at 1 under and leading the UC Davis women's golf team into third after the first round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge.
Runas finished with a 71 and is just three shots off the pace being set by Chirapat Jao-Javanil of Oklahoma. UC Davis fired a 4-over 292 team score and is only six shots behind co-leaders Pepperdine and Oklahoma. The Aggies are six strokes clear of East Tennessee State and Campbell which are tied for fourth.
The Golfweek Conference Challenge brings together 18 teams, each representing a different NCAA Division I Conference. The Aggies are in the field for the third straight year after finishing fourth last season.
Senior Amy Simanton and sophomore Beverly Vatananugulkit each had 73's on Monday and are tied for 17th, freshman Andrea Wong is tied for 28th after shooting 75, and sophomore Blair Lewis, who eagled the third hole with a 60-foot putt, is tied for 74th after carding an 81.
"We played well today," said first-year coach Anna Temple. "With the experience of Amy and Demi on this course, they really led the way for us. We definitely put ourselves in a great position for the next two rounds and we still have quite a few areas we can improve.
"Tomorrow will be a good day if we continue to stick to our plan," she said.
Runas set the stage for her 1-under day with a strong front nine which dipped two shots into the red after birdies on the fourth and sixth holes. She gave a stroke back with a bogey on No. 7 but the rebounded with her eagle on No. 8 which she holed using a nine-iron from 127 yards. Runas played the back nine two shots over par.
Simanton used a quick start with birdies on three of her first five holes to go to 2 under but made the turn even. Two bogeys later in her round put her 2 over but a birdie on the closing par-5 18th hole ended her day well with a 73. Vatananugulkit had three birdies on her first nine holes, including her first hole of the day, but eventually went to 2 over before also getting a birdie on No. 18 for her 73.
Wong had four birdies, including three over a five-hole span covering both sides of the course, finishing with a 75 while Lewis' day was highlighted by her eagle. She drove the 275-yard third hole, then rolled in a 60-footer. She also had a birdie on the seventh hole.
UC Davis will play the second of the tournament's three rounds when it tees off with Oklahoma and Pepperdine beginning at 10 a.m. (Pacific) on Tuesday.
GOLFWEEK CONFERENCE CHALLENGE
Red Sky Golf Club (Fazio Course)
Par 72, 6,262 yards
18 of 54 holes
T1. Pepperdine - 286
T1. Oklahoma -286
3. UC DAVIS - 292
T4. East Tennessee State - 298
T4. Campbell - 298
6. OIe Miss - 300
7. San Diego State - 302
T8. San Jose State - 303
T8. Nebraska - 303
10. Florida State - 304
T11. Denver - 305
T11. South Florida - 305
T11. Furman - 305
14. UTSA - 307
T15. Georgia State - 310
T15. UCLA - 310
17. Tulsa - 311 18. Missouri State - 318
1. Chirapat Jao-Javanil, Oklahoma, 68