. - Four birdies in Sunday's final round helped the Aggies' Betty Chen
win medalist honors by two shots while the No. 41 UC Davis women's golf team dominated the rest of the field for a 16-shot win at the Hoosier Fall Invitational hosted by Indiana University.
Chen had a 2-under 69 in the third round after posting that same score in the second which was finished Sunday morning after darkness halted play on Saturday evening. Chen was 3 under 210 overall, winning by two strokes over Carmen Laguna (-1) of Minnesota. They were the only two competitors in the 96-player field to finish under par.
UC Davis, which shot 4-over 288 for the second round before finishing with a 288, had four players among the top 14 places. Freshman Paige Lee
tied for sixth at 4 over, senior Jessica Chulya
was 13th at 7 over, and Andrea Wong
tied for 14th at 8 over. Senior Beverly Vatananugulkit
tied for 42nd at 17 over.
The Aggies held a two-shot lead over No. 22 Illinois and Purdue when play was suspended during the second round. They expanded their lead on Sunday after posting a score nine shots better than any other team. Illinois finished a distance second place at 32-over 884 while No. 40 Louisville was 35 over and took third.
Chen, a sophomore from Castro Valley, won her first collegiate tournament with seven total birdies over her last two rounds. After finishing her second-round 69, she opened the last round with a birdie on her fourth hole - the par-4 eighth - and then added two more on the first and third holes to help her match the score again.
Chen's win was her third career top-10 finish and bettered the seventh-place showing she had at New Mexico's Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational in September, which stood as her previous-best showing.
Lee has been impressive during the start of her collegiate career, finishing in the top 20 for the third time in five tournaments. She had a 73 in the second round before adding an even round of 71 in the last round after four birdies, 10 pars and four bogeys.
Chulya opened the tournament with a 77 but came back impressively to shoot matching rounds of 71 in the final two rounds. She played a steady third round with a birdie, 15 pars and just two bogeys while playing her last 11 holes a shot below par.
Wong was also consistent in the last round after posting a 74 in the middle one. She birdied the par-5 ninth hole and the par-4 third to help her shoot 72 in the last round. Vatananugulkit, who had a 76 in the second round, saved her best round for last, shooting a 74. She covered the back nine of the Hickory Stick Golf Club just 1 over, and had four birdies in the round.
UC Davis, four-time defending Big West champions, won its first regular-season team title since taking the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown two years ago. The Aggies have won the conference tournament two times since then.
UC Davis will finish the fall portion of its fall schedule next weekend when it travels to the Stanford Intercollegiate beginning Friday. It'll then break from competition until mid-February.
HOOSIER FALL INVITATIONAL
Bloomington, Ind. (hosted by Indiana University)
Hickory Stick Golf Club
Par 71; 6062 yards
1. UC DAVIS, 296-288-284-868
2. Illinois, 298-286-300-884
3. Louisville, 303-290-294-887
4. Ball State, 306-289-293-888
5. Purdue, 293-294-305-892
6. Penn State, 301-300-293-894
7. Boston College,299-296-300-895
8. Minnesota, 304-297-295-896
9. Xavier, 301-295-303-899
10. Toledo, 303-301-303-907
11. Nebraska, 307-301-303-911
12. Louisville B, 303-297-301-913
13. Indiana, 308-304-304-916
14. Illinois State, 299-301-319-919
15. Eastern Michigan, 318-315-307-940
16. Rutgers, 311-316-320-947