Sep 8, 2013
WINDSOR, Colo. - The UC Davis women's golf team, coming off its fourth straight Big West Conference championship and fourth straight trip to the NCAA Championships, will look for another strong season when it opens the 2013-14 schedule on Monday at the Colonoel Wollenberg Ptarmigan Ram Classic at Colorado State.
The two-day, 54-hole tournament will feature 17 teams trying to tame the par-72, 6,352-yard Ptarmigan Country Club course. They'll play 36 holes on Monday beginning with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. (Pacific) before finishing with 18 holes on Tuesday.
UC Davis, which finished 16th at last season's NCAA Finals, returns three players from the quintet that played in the postseason. Junior Beverly Vatananugulkit and sophomores Betty Chen and Andrea Wong will be joined by junior Blair Lewis and freshman Paige Lee in this week's season-opening tournament.
Lewis and Lee join this year's lineup after the graduation of standouts Demi Runas and Amy Simanton. Runas was three-time Big West Player of the Year while Simanton was a four-year All-Big West first-team honoree.
This year's squad will also be formidable, guided by the veteran Vatananugulkit who was the Big West's Freshman of the Year in 2012 and has been named to the conference's first-team each of her first two seasons. She was second on the team in scoring (74.5) last season and helped highlight her year with a third-place showing at the conference championship.
Chen and Wong formed a tough freshman duo for UC Davis last year. Chen earned All-Big West honorable mention accolades before finishing as the Aggies' top finisher at both the NCAA Central Regional and NCAA Finals. She tied for 11th at the regional event before tying for 32nd at the national finals.
Wong was tabbed the league's freshman of the year after finishing second at the Big West Championships and finishing third on the team with a 74.9 scoring average. She also started her year strong, tying for ninth at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Colorado.
Lewis saw limited action last season but enjoyed a solid freshman season in 2011-12, earned All-Big West honorable mention recognition. She had a season-best round of 70 at the NCAA West Regional at Stanford. Lee, from nearby Granite Bay High School, was a four-time all-city selection who will see immediate action in UC Davis' lineup.
UC Davis has hovered inside the top 20 in recent seasons and ended the 2012-13 year ranked 17th.
This week's tournament is the first of six fall events for UC Davis which will be at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational at New Mexico beginning Sept. 20 and will travel to the Golfweek Conference Challenge on Sept. 23. The Aggies will also play fall tournaments at the University of Washington, Indiana and Stanford before taking a break until the spring portion of their schedule which features five tournaments heading into April's Big West Championships.