Sept. 25, 2013
WOLCOTT, Calif. - Freshman Paige Lee, from nearby Folsom, fired a 2-over 74 on Wednesday to finish fourth in just her third collegiate tournament and help pace the UC Davis women's golf team to a second straight runner-up finish at the Golfweek Conference Challenge at Red Sky Golf Club.
Sophomore Betty Chen, who finished tied for 12th, led the Aggies in the final round with a 71 and tied for 12th for her second consecutive high finish. Senior Jessica Chulya shot 76 and tied for 18th, junior Beverly Vatananugulkit tied for 28th after ending with a 77, and sophomore Andrea Wong tied for 42nd after also shooting 77.
The Aggies only finished behind defending champion Pepperdine in the 18-team tournament. UC Davis had its best round of the three-day event, shooting a 10-over 298 team score and finished 41-over 905 overall. The Waves led from start to finish, carding a collective 284 in the final round and finishing 5-over 869.
The Aggies held off a challenge from TCU which was just 4 over in Wednesday's round - trying to climb from fourth place - but couldn't surpass UC Davis. The Horned Frogs were third at 46 over while Denver and East Tennessee State tied for fourth at 53 over.
Lee tied for 18th at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational last weekend at New Mexico before taking a big step early in her college career with this week's showing. She had rounds of 75, 72 and 74, finishing 5 over. Lee was 4 over after just six holes on Wednesday but closed her front nine with back-to-back birdies on the eighth and ninth holes. She was even on the back.
Chen enjoyed a strong round as well, battling back from a 79 on Tuesday to post an impressive 1-under score on Wednesday. She had three birdies on the front side, getting to 3 under after seven holes, before going to the back nine a shot in the red. Two birdies the rest of the way helped her play the remainder of the round 1 over. She was 10 over for the tournament.
Chulya had a double-bogey on her first hole and bogeys on the ninth and 18th, but those were her only hiccups in an otherwise steady round which featured 14 bogeys. She finished 12 over overall.
Vatananugulkit was 2 over on her front nine and then had an early birdie on the back nine to help highlight her 77, while Wong made her turn at 3 over before firing seven pars on the back to also post a 77. Vatananugulkit tied for 28th at 16 over while Wong was 20 over and tied for 42nd.
Grace Na, led a 1-2 individual showing for Pepperdine, shooting a 4-under 68 on Wednesday to finish 6 under and beat teammate Marissa Chow by two shots. They were the only players to break par on the difficult course.
The Golfweek Conference Challenge is a unique event on the Aggies' schedule. It brings together 18 teams from 18 conferences. UC Davis represented the Big West for the fourth consecutive season.
UC Davis will be off until traveling to the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational at the University of Washington on Oct. 8-9.
GOLFWEEK CONFERENCE CHALLENGE
Red Sky Golf Club (Fazio Course)
Par 72, 6,272 yards
1. Pepperdine, 289-296-284-869
2. UC DAVIS, 304-303-298-905
3. TCU, 301-317-292-910
T4. Denver, 303-315-299-917
T4. East Tennessee State, 305-304-308-917
T6. Harvard, 312-309-304-925
T6. SMU, 313-310-302-925
8. Florida International, 308-315-304-927
9. San Jose State, 320-312-302-934
10. Morehead State, 322-321-305-948
11. Central Arkansas, 315-320-315-950
12. Ark.-Little Rock, 328-313-313-954
13. Ball State, 318-324-315-957
14. Northern Arizona, 335-329-307-971
15. Illinois State, 330-322-326-978
16. Indiana, 333-323-323-979
17. James Madison, 328 -318-339-985
18. Boston College, 318-339-333-990
1. Grace Na, Pepperdine, 71-71-68