April 11, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 15 UC Davis women's golf team will face its toughest test of the spring season so far when the Aggies open play on Friday at the PING/ASU Invitational at Arizona State, a tournament featuring five top-10 teams and 11 among the top 25.
The Aggies finished fourth at last year's high-powered tournament and had the event's co-medalist with Demi Runas who shot 1-under 212 to claim her second individual title of the season. This year, she'll join many of collegiate golf's top players at ASU's Karsten Golf Course for the 54-hole tournament that'll have 18 holes each day from Friday through Sunday.
The Aggies - whose lineup this weekend is comprised of freshman Andrea Wong, sophomores Blair Lewis and Beverly Vatananugulkit,and seniors Amy Simanton and Runas - will tee off beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday. UC Davis is grouped with TCU and individual players from Arizona State, California, South Carolina, Colorado and Arizona.
The tournament will provide the final tuneup for UC Davis before its travels as three-time defending champion to the Big West Championship beginning Apr. 21 in San Luis Obispo.
This week's 17-team event features many of the country's top women's collegiate golf programs, including No. 1 USC, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Alabama, No. 7 Arizona and No. 9 Washington. They'll be joined by No. 11 UCLA, No. 14 Arizona State, No. 15 Stanford, No. 21 Texas and No. 25 Texas A&M in addition to No. 16 UC Davis. Oregon (36), UNLV (37), California (40), South Carolina (44), TCU (53) and Colorado (80) round out the competitive field.
Runas captured a share of last year's first place by shooting rounds of 1-under 70, 68 and 74. She tied Ani Gulugian of UCLA. It was her second individual title during her outstanding junior season, joining her victory at the season-opening Ptarmigan/Ram Fall Classic. Simanton finished in a tie for 19th for another oustanding Aggie finish.
UCLA has won the PING/ASU Invitational three consecutive years and four times since 2006.
Runas leads UC Davis with a 72.7 average while Simanton (74.3), Vatananugulkit (74.6) and Wong (74.6) are close behind.