Sept. 26, 2012
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VAIL, Colo. - Demi Runas claimed medalist honors for the third time in her career after shooting a 1-under 71 on Wednesday at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, while lifting the UC Davis women's golf team to runner-up honors at Red Sky Golf Club.
The tournament came down to a duel between winner Pepperdine and UC Davis after the two teams cleared themselves from the rest of the field after Tuesday's second round. The Waves eventually won the team title after a 3-under 285 left them at 4-under 860 for the week.
The Aggies were even-par over the final round, posting a 54-hole total of 1-over 865. Oklahoma was a distant third at 17-over 881 while Campbell took fourth at 30-over 894.
This year marks the third consecutive season UC Davis has participated in the tournament which brings representatives from 18 NCAA Division I conferences. The Aggies finished second for the second straight year.
Besides Runas, the Aggies had two other players with top-10 finishes including senior Amy Simanton who charged on the final day with a spectacular 3-under 69 and tied for seventh. Freshman Andrea Wongtied for ninth after her 71 on Wednesday.
Sophomore Beverly Vatananugulkit shot a 77 and tied for 23rd while sophomore Blair Lewishad a 78 and placed 71st.
For Runas, it was the third time she's either won or shared medalist honors. She captured the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic at Colorado State a year ago before tying for first place at the PING/Arizona State University Invitational in the spring.
A strong start in Tuesday's final round helped Runas stretch a one-shot lead entering the day to three strokes at its finish. She had three birdies over her first five holes, just one bogey and another birdie on the No. 9 to make her turn 3 under. She played the back nine at 2 over, finishing 7-under 209 for the tournament and beating Grace Na of Pepperdine and Fabiola Arriago of UTSA who were each 4 under.
Only six players in the 90-player field finished below par.
Simanton was 1 over after 13 holes and then strung together four straight pars before blitzing the course for birdies on No. 15, No. 17, No. 18 and No. 1 to roar into the red with a 69. She finished at even-216 overall.
Wong was 1 under after 12 holes before a double-bogey on the 14th hole put her 1 over. But an impressive eagle on the par-5, 510-yard 15th hole pushed her back to 1 under which is where she finished. She was 1 over for the tournament.
Vatananugulkit tied for 23rd after her 77, which included 14 pars. She had impressive rounds of 71 on both Monday and Tuesday. Lewis had her best round of the week, shooting a 78 which was highlighted by a birdie on both the course's front and back nines.
"Today was a good day for the Aggies," said first-year coach Anna Temple. "Demi's individual win and three consecutive under-par rounds really set the bar for the team.
"Amy's 69 was critical to our success today and Andrea stepped it up big time with two under-par rounds and a top-10 finish," she added. "While we didn't quite pull off the victory, we put ourselves in great position. I'm very proud of the team and what they accomplished this week. We will go home with some things to work on and hit the ground running again in Chicago next week."
The Aggies, who were second at their opening tournament at New Mexico last week, will be back in action on Monday and Tuesday when they travel to the Windy City Classic at Northwestern.
GOLFWEEK CONFERENCE CHALLENGE
Red Sky Golf Club (Fazio Course)
Par 72, 6,262 yards
1. Pepperdine, 286-289-285-860
2. UC DAVIS, 292-285-288-865
3. Oklahoma, 286-300-295-881
4. Campbell, 298-303-293-894
5. Denver, 305-297-293-895
6. OIe Miss, 300-296-303-899
7. UTSA, 307-296-301-904
8. East Tennessee State, 298-306-302-906
9. UCLA, 310-294-310-914
10 Florida State, 304-311-300-915
T11. San Diego State, 302-305-311-918
T11. South Florida, 305-307-306-918
13. Georgia State, 310-314-295-919
14. San Jose State, 303-314-305-922
15. Nebraska, 303-307-314-924
16. Tulsa, 311-307-309-927
17. Furman, 305-307-317-929
18. Missouri State, 318-315-313-946
1. Demi Runas, UC Davis, 71-67-71-209
T7. Amy Simanton, 73-74-69-216
T9. Andrea Wong, 75-71-71-217
T23. Beverly Vatananugulkit, 73-73-77-223
T78. Blair Lewis, 81-80-78-239