SAN LUIS OBISPO — Using a great team effort — all five Aggies were among the top 25 individuals after Tuesday’s final round — the UC Davis women’s golf squad became just the second team in league history to capture five consecutive Big West Championships.
The 37th-ranked Aggies (19-over 895) shot a 12-over 304 on Tuesday to beat second-place Northridge by 16 strokes.
“It means a tremendous amount to win our fifth consecutive Big West Championship,” said UCD head coach Anna Temple. “It’s always special to win conference and this year was a unique experience.”
Junior Beverly Vatananugulkit was the first-day leader, and came close to winning her second Big West individual title before eventually finishing in a third-place tie to pace the Aggies. She shot a 1-over 74 on Tuesday and was 1-over for the championship.
Vatananugulkit was solid on the front nine, collecting eight pars and just one bogey before shooting an even-par 36 on the back with the help of birdies on No. 13 and 15.
She opened the tournament with a 1-under 72 on Sunday and came back with a 74 on Monday as her finish matched her highest of the season.
Sophomore Betty Chen placed sixth at 3-over, after shooting a final-round 76, while freshman Paige Lee and junior Blair Lewis both shot 77s on Tuesday to tie for seventh and ninth, respectively. Andrea Wong, another UCD sophomore, tied for 24th at 19-over after ending with an 82.
“Everyone on our team has the potential to win as an individual and while that didn’t happen, everyone worked hard for the team’s success,” Temple said. “(Tuesday) wasn’t our best round so we leave feeling good about our win but know we have some work to do. We have a few weeks to prepare for regionals and we will use that time well.”
That time is about three weeks as the Aggies earned the Big West’s automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals, set for May 8-10. UCD will find out the regional site on April 28, then head there to compete for a chance to play in the May 20 NCAA finals.
The only other team to match the Aggies’ streak of conference championships is former member San Jose State, which captured the first 10 Big West titles from 1987 to 1996.
UCD has been dominating during its run, winning by at least 13 strokes each time.