BRYAN, Texas — The UC Davis women’s golf team is creeping up the leaderboard.
Led by a 2-over 74 from sophomore Demi Runas on Thursday, the 14th-ranked Aggies posted an eight-shot improvement over their first-round score and moved into a tie for 20th midway through the NCAA Division I Championships at Traditions Golf Club.
UCD was in 23rd after shooting a 313 team score during Wednesday’s opening round, but came in with a 17-over 305 in the second to tie Notre Dame and Ohio State at 42-over 618 through the event’s first two days.
The three squads are just one shot behind 19th-place South Carolina and only five back of Stanford, which is 18th.
Second-ranked UCLA is at 8-over 584 and leads defending national champion Purdue by three shots after 36 holes.
Runas’ 74 put her at 8-over 152 and tied her for 63rd. Aggie sophomore Amy Simanton, who opened the championship with a 73, is tied for 30th after shooting 76 on Thursday and is just 5-over for the tournament.
UCD senior Alice Kim had a 79 and is tied for 101st at 14-over, while freshman Jessica Chulya, who had a 77, and senior Chelsea Stelzmiller, who finished with a 78, are tied for 109th at 17-over.
Runas opened her day with two bogeys but then strung together 12 consecutive pars before two birdies later, including one on the closing par-5 18th, nearly helped her match Simanton’s 73 as the Aggies’ best round of the tournament.
Simanton was just 1-over after nine holes and finished with 14 pars. Chulya sliced seven shots off her opening-round 83, also playing the front nine just a shot over par.
Stelzmiller was 7-over at her turn but came back to play impressively on the back nine at 1-under, thanks to two birdies and six pars.She was five shots lower than her opening round. Kim had a pair of birdies during her second round.
The tournament continues with 18 holes on Friday before concluding on Saturday. UCD was scheduled to begin its third round at 6 a.m.