The Fresno State's women's golf tournament is not run by professionals but the dedicated volunteers who have helped with the Fresno State Lexus Invitational since the start the start of the program in 2005.
Many of the volunteers are retired or self-employed workers who take a couple days off of work to go to Copper River Country Club and assist the team. Most of the volunteers will keep live score, drive players in between holes, or work the snack bar making sure the girls are replenished by providing snacks and water.
Live scorers collect the scores from each player and radio them into the Pro Shop where they are entered into the computer so coaches and fans can follow the leader board online.
"Without their help our tournament would lose some prestige. The live scorers are out there as long as anyone playing in the tournament and their dedication adds so much to our event. Not every tournament has live scoring so it adds an extra element to the Lexus Classic. As a coach it's huge to know where my team stands and how we are playing at any given time. This is the only tournament we play in that has leader boards on the course and I know the players enjoy that aspect," said head coach Angie Cates-Moore.
Shuttle drivers give the athletes a break from the long walks between green and tee and provide transportation on two of the holes.
"Our group of drivers are all members from San Joaquin CC and they love meeting the players and watching them compete," said Cates-Moore.
Some of the volunteers started off working with the men's golf tournament with Coach Mike Watney and when the women's program started they continued volunteering. Many of the volunteers started helping when volunteer assistant coach Chuck Bandelian was searching for volunteers to help run the golf tournament.
By word of mouth and longtime friendships with Bandelian, people like Bob and Linda Kishi, Barton Ashida, and Randy Muzney have been helping out for almost twenty years.
"It takes so much work and help to run a tournament and our volunteers truly help make this event a success," said Cates-Moore.
Golf 'Dogs Make Aces on Consecutive Days
The Fresno State Men's Golf Team is opening some eyes as they prepare for their first competition of the season. On Wednesday, newcomer Adam Barkow aced the 87 yard first hole at the Riverpark Golf Center. On Thursday, freshman Tim Toste, aced No. 17 at the Fort Washington Country Club.
As a coach, I am very happy with the progression at this point. There is always a little luck involved with a hole-in-one. However, to have two aces in two days is pretty exciting. What pleases me most are the scores they are shooting and the good attitude that I am seeing.
Bhavik Patel continues his good play after reaching the semi-finals of the U.S. Amateur. He is 8-under par after two rounds of qualifying for their first tournament at Nevada. Freshman Tim Toste shot 68 at Fort Washington when he had the ace and stands second in team qualifying. Todd Angel is at 2-under for two rounds. Grant Doverspike and Adam Barkow both shot 69's at Fort Washington.
We will start competition at the Nevada Wolfpack Classic on October 5-6.
Eight Years Ago...
I am on my first road trip with the women's golf team. The drive was mighty long and interesting. Before settling down in Primm, Nev., we stopped and ate at a Greek restaurant in Baker, Calif.
I got back in the van and thought, wow, it's September 11, 2009 and this day eight years ago, one of the most tragic historic events in the history of the U.S. took place, the bombing of the World Trade Centers.
I remember getting to school and making it to my homeroom class which was World History. I walked in and my teacher was in tears and I didn't know why. We were watching the news and saw the 2nd plane crash into the Center. I didn't realize how much of a big deal it was to everyone. I saw people crying and the soot and smoke that covered the city and realized it was a serious deal. My high school was near Barksdale Air Force Base and the principal released school early in fear that something would happen to our city. That day is a day in American history that will never be forgotten.
I decided to ask the girls where they were and what were their reactions to the event. There were their responses:
Lindi Covarrubias: "I was just waking up for school (8 grade). I was scared, everyone at school was. It was something new and no one knew what to expect. I got to see the 2nd plane hit on TV and it was emotional experience."
Hali Coppin: "I was in 8th grade. My grandparents were at my house because my parents were going on a trip. I woke up and my grandmother said look at the TV, something crazy going on. I watched 2nd plane hit. Afterwards, I remember going to school not knowing what to think."
Chelsea Czinski: "My mom was driving me to school and we heard on the radio what happened. I didn't even know what the World Trade Centers were before it ever happened. Once I actually got to see what happened and didn't know what else to expect or how to react."
Louisa Lies: "Everyone in Germany was shocked. It was something we had never seen before. It was shocking for me and I was clueless as to what exactly was going on. The Germans didn't react like Americans but we were defiantly disturbed by the event."
Shaylee Yano: "I was home for some reason and I woke up and saw what happened on TV. I didn't know what the World Trade Centers were so I was pretty confused. I saw the city and the smoke and the people and I remember being sad."
The girls compete on Sept. 13-15 in the first-ever Golfweek Conference Challenge. We are all in our rooms and are pretty tired from the long drive. Good night!
U.S Open Preview
Fresno State has two outstanding golfers competing at the 109th U.S. Open to be held at the Bethpage State Park, Black Course in Farmingdale, NY. The tournament starts Thursday June18 and continues through the 21st. Nick Watney and Kevin Sutherland are both waiting for Thursday's tee off.
Watney is competing in his third U.S Open. His first came in 2007 at Oakmont. Sutherland is participating in his seventh and his first came in 1996.
Watney was a well recognized college athlete being the only men's golfer to earn the Kearney Award, which is the Western Athletic Conference's (WAC) most prestigious award. Watney was also a three-time All-American and the first three-time WAC Player of the Year. Watney set the single season scoring mark with 70.53 average as a junior. He collected his first PGA Tour victory in 2007 at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans. Watney's second victory came recently at the 2009 Buick invitational at Torrey Pines.
Sutherland's only PGA Tour Victory came in 2001 at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships. Sutherland finished 11th in FedEx Cup points standings. He played on the Hogan Tour in 1991-92 and earned two victories. While at Fresno state Suntherland was a second-team All-American.
Sutherland starts play at 8:39 a.m. ET in group 23 while Watney tees off later with group number 31 at 1:14 pm ET.
As rated by ESPN.com both players are ranked in the Top 100. Watney ranks No. 30 and Sutherland, No. 64.
The U.S. open can be seen on ESPN for the beginning of the first round and NBC for the latter half of the first round. For more Info on the U.S. Open, CLICK HERE.
2009 Fresno City Amateur
The 82nd Annual Fresno City Amateur Golf championships took place on May 24-25 at the Riverside Golf Course. Fresno State golfers flourished the scene. The 2008 champion, Todd Angel, Bryan Hogan and Brian Sunker all competed as well as Shaylee Yano. Yano is a native of Kingsburg, Calif. that has decided to play golf for the Bulldogs next season.
Angel looked to defend his 2008 title at the tournament. He posted a 54-hole total of 211 (-5) and tied for sixth. After the first round of competition Angel was tied for 13th along with teammate Brian Sunker. They both shot 71's. Bryan Hogan fired a 72 and was tied for 22nd.
After the second round Angel and Hogan moved up the leaderboard drastically placing second and tying for third, respectively. Angel was three strokes back of the leader going into the third round. He then shot a 73 to finish the tournament in sixth place. Hogan completed the tournament tied for eighth with a 54-hole total of 213 (-3). Sunker finished in a tie for 43rd out of 147 individuals at 15-over par 232. Angel compiled four birdies and an eagle. Hogan had eight birdies and Sunker had six.
Incoming freshman, Yano finished the 36-hole competition at 12-over par 156 and finished in fourth. She shot rounds of 73 and 83 consecutively.
Awards, Honors and Excitement....
What an exciting week last week was for Fresno State men's golf.
After the gut-wrenching one-stroke loss at the WAC Championships, Grant Doverspike was name the WAC player of the Year and he earned his third consecutive First Team All--WAC award. Doverspike is the first Bulldog since Nick Watney to receive the award.
Before Doverspike and the team could swallow the loss and the fact the Doverspike received the award the team was made aware the Patel and Doverspike would compete as individuals in the NCAA Tournament.
"They are both very good players and certainly deserve this opportunity. I think they will do well at Lake Merced. It is tough course that separates the men from the boys," said Watney.
If you follow Fresno state golf, the name "Grant Doverspike" shouldn't sound unfamiliar, but Bhavik Patel may. Patel a freshman from Bakersfield, Calif. has compiled a pretty impressive resume as a freshman and new to the Bulldog program. The spring was his first semester at Fresno state and he adapted well on the course.
In one semester he compiled stats that normally take a year to acquire. He tied for first on the team with most rounds in the 60's. He had a couple of eagles and 60 birdies. He shot a final round of 69 at the Fresno state Lexus Classic to help the team get the second place finish. He followed that performance up at the Pasatiempo course by shooting a 68 and a 70 where he earned a fourth place individual finish. For that week of golf he was name d WAC Golfer of the Week. At the WAC Championships he helped propel his team to another great finish. He was the second best Bulldog finishing in the top 10 of the field. Remember he is a true freshman and he is going to compete at the Lake Merced golf course in Daly City, Calif. for the NCAA tournament.
Later in the week the annual golf luncheon was held at Sunnyside Country Club. The luncheon was a time to reflect on how the `Dogs did this season and to enjoy a rather interesting meal. A steak sandwich....and boy, was it good! It was a sandwich with only one piece of bread, something I had never seen before. I didn't hesitate on eating it though.
The family and friends of the athletes all gathered around to hear coach Watney speak highly of each individual and to watch highlights and bloopers while he handed out the Bulldog Team Awards. This year the awards were given out as follows:
Bulldogs Scholar Award: Brian Sunker
WAC Tournament Time
The women's golf team is in Reno ready to tee off at the 19th annual Western Athletic Conference women's golf championship.
The girl's are all pretty excited considering all of their Facebook status' state something about competition this week and homework.
Fresno State is the defending champion after placing two players, Taylor Siebert and Hali Coppin, in the top 10 in last year's championship. The `Dogs also return two individuals that placed in the top 20 of the field in Pia Escandon and Chelsea Czinski. With the addition of junior Lindi Covarrubias, the Bulldogs are looking to take the title again.
"Our girls are really excited," said head coach Angie Cates-Moore. "We ended our regular fall season with a great finish at the Cowgirl Classic. I'm hoping our girls can carry over the momentum into the WAC tournament."
The men's WAC championships start next week in Henderson, Nev.
A Conversation on The Master's
On the plane on my way to Atlanta I met a few guys that were on their way to the Master's in Augusta, Georgia. They traveled from Canada and golf is their favorite sport. The conversation we had was quite interesting.
Each guy picked three golfers besides Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods that would finish in the Top 10 of the field. A few of the names I remembered them saying included Stuart Appleby and Geoff Ogilvy; they were chosen because one of the travelers was born in Australia, Tim Clark, and a few others.
I then had a puzzled look on my face. One guy asked, "What's wrong mate?"
I stated, "Nick Watney is one of the hottest golfers out there and neither of you chose him for your top three." A guy on the plane that was sitting in front of me then said "Yep, she's right!"
They all asked me why I was cheering for Nick Watney. I then told them, "He is a Fresno State Alumni and so am I. I also work with the University's men's and women's golf teams so I would love for him to do well."
I then told them that Fresno State had Kevin Sutherland competing in the tournament also. They guys didn't realize it at all. They weren't aware that Kevin was even competing.
The conversation went on for a little while before I realized I was tired and then fell asleep. I can say that the one guy that chose Clark and the other that chose Ogilvy were pretty close. Clark finished tied for 13th and Ogilvy finished tied for 15th. Nick finished in the Top 20 of a very talented field. Sutherland finished tied for 46th.
Fresno State Among Elite School in FedEx Cup Standings:
Thru March 30, 2009 several elite programs have players that are among the FedEx cup Standings list. Powerhouse schools such as Arizona State, North Carolina and Texas, for example have some of the most elite alumni participating on the tour.
Fresno State is considered a mid-major with two cream of the crop athletes on tour in Nick Watney, who is No. 3 on the list, and Kevin Sutherland who was sitting at No. 5 until this past week, falling just out of the Top 50 at No. 59.
No school in has more than two athletes in the Top 50.
These schools listed had the most number of alumni apart of the Top 50 according to FedEx Cup standings:
North Carolina State:
*-Just out of the Top 50.
The Haney Project: Charles Barkley
Flipping through the channels on a Monday, I came across a reality show that not many people had been talking about, The Haney Project.
Last week was the premier of the reality show that featured Tiger Woods's swing coach Hank Haney, trying to fix Charles Barkley's golf swing.
Haney, the world's top golf instructor, has met one of the biggest challenges of his career: Charles Barkley. The 11-time, All-Star basketball Hall-of-Famer has one of the most unusual golf swings on the planet. At times it looks like it hurts him.
The season premier drew 800,000 viewers, which was the best ratings for The Golf Channel in 2009 outside of Golf Central and tourney coverage.
Tune in every Monday on channel 36 (Comcast) at 6 p.m. PT to see Haney work his magic to tame the monster swing of Barkley.
Hopefully Hank's knowledge and experience will be enough to fix Sir Charles's game.
Haney revealed the "Tiger workout" schedule, starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. It was almost unbelievable.
I watched the show and absolutely loved it. I laughed almost all the way through it partly because Barkley doesn't take instructions very well. It made me actually understand a little more about the sport.
Catch an episode or two and trust me you will love it.
CLICK HERE to watch videos and read about the reality show.
College Golf Fellowship
Gunnar Avinelis, a former Fresno State golfer from 2002-07 and Academic All-Scholar athlete is in Fresno fellowshipping with coaches and athletes as well as enjoying the Fresno State Lexus Classic.
Avinelis is currently living in Orange County and is a part of a national organization called College Golf Fellowship. On Sunday during the team banquet Avinelis and a co-worker talked a little bit about their organization.
College Golf Fellowship (CGF) exists to help college golfers and coaches explore issues of faith and purpose in a non-threatening environment.
While being a golfer for Mike Watney, Avinelis was very involved in Fellowship of Christian athletes (FCA). FCA was basically a way for him to discuss life's essential questions such as Where did we come from?, Why are we here?, and Where are we going?.
FCA molded Avinelis into the person he is today and trained him for his position with CGF as the Southwest Regional representative.
While working with the organization Avinelis is also a part-time student at Biola University in southern California. He is getting is Masters Degree in Theology.
Avinelis is usually on the road three to four days out of the week during golf season in order to meet with different teams at tournaments, on campuses and at bible studies to speak about CGF and fellowship.
He is extremely excited to be back in Fresno during this tournament because he knows about 70 percent of the athletes and coaches here.
"Coming back here is a little different because I'm not playing anymore and I miss it," said Avinelis. "I know many of the athletes but I just want Fresno State to do well in the tournament."
"I usually try to make a week vacation out of this trip because I enjoy coming back," said Avinelis.
Since living in Brea, Calif. Avienlis has gotten married to a Fresno State alumni and former athletic training student, Deborah Flores.
She is currently an athletic trainer at Biola University they met through former football star, Jamal Jones.
Just when you think the Watney Family has made a name of itself in the golf world, a member of the famous family is involved in an enterprise to make the game more enjoyable for players.
Brent Watney, the father of former Fresno State All-American and two-time PGA Tour winner Nick Watney, is the Vice President for sales for a product called the GolfCycle.
Fresno State head coach Mike Watney was riding the cycle around the Belmont Country Club on Monday during the first round of the annual Fresno Lexus Classic.
It's a hybrid motorized tricycle that the ride can peddle or elect to use battery power to navigate the vehicle. It has a sturdy awning that protects the golfer from the elements, and a rack on the back to carry the clubs.
The GolfCycle weighs approximately 280 pounds and can be transported in the back of a pick-up truck on the hitch of an SUV.
It's fun to ride and drive and for those looking for a way to get around the course (or neighborhood), it's a fun alternative.
Great Talent Coming to Fresno
From 1967 through 1974, seven of the eight individual champions went on to PGA stardom. Big names like: Tom Watson, Craig Stadler, Bulldog's head coach; Mike Watney, Johnny Miller, Ray leach, Bobby Clampet, Scott Simpson, Mike Springer, Phil Mickelson, Tim Norris, Jerry Heard, Mike Brannan, Sam Randolph, Willie Wood, Billy Andred and Aaron Oberholser have all been a part of this highly anticipated event.
According to Golfstat Rankings, there are several highly renowned athletes that will compete in the tournament, including our own; Grant Doverspike, John Chin from UC Irvine, Cameron Edens from Arizona state, Jay Myers from San Jose State and Jake Yount from San Diego. This special group will be "Players to Watch". All five are ranked in the Top 30 on the West Region.
John Chin (JR, UC Irvine)
Grant Doverspike (JR, Fresno State)
Cameron Edens (SO, Arizona State)
Jay Myers (FR, San Jose State)
Jake Yount (SR, San Diego)
Come on out to Belmont so that you can see the talent golfers that are playing in Fresno. You will also get a chance to see players that played under Mike Watney, now coaching against him.
Welcome Back, Welcome Back!
Fresno State golf has been a name that's well known on the West coast due to Hall of fame coach Mike Watney. WAC Coach of the Year, Angie Cates-Moore has strived hard to build a great program and become well known. Both coaches have coached great players. Especially coach Watney. He has coached several players on the tour.
The women's team hosted their fifth annual Fresno state Lexus Classic golf tournament at Copper River earlier this week.
On Monday the weather was sort of bad but it began to clear up and the second day of the tournament was beautiful, sunny and breezy. The women finished in sixth place. Usually coach Watney is at the home tournament supporting Angie and the golf team but he had to be on the road at the USC Invitational. He got to be a part of history, while watching Grant Doverspike post a double eagle on hole eight in the third round. What a rarity!
Well back to Fresno...there were several different Fresno State Affiliates that either coached or were cheering for other teams during the women's home venue.
Players like David Sutherland, the Sacramento State Director of golf, were one of the Fresno State alumni that were present at the tournament.
David Sutherland played on the tour and his year on the PGA Tour was in 2004. His brother is still on tour.
The Sacramento State job opened up last summer when Adam Pohll left to become the women's golf coach at the University of Nevada. Adam Pohll also played for Mike Watney.
I was able to chat with David and ask a few questions about his experience in Fresno and how it feels to be back.
"Coming back to Fresno is always amazing," said David. "It's much more beautiful then when I played here. It kind of makes me sad, I would love to be a part of Fresno State golf again. I speak for myself and Kevin when I say this."
The men's tournament will be played at the Belmont Country club on March 9-10 and there will be a field of 21-teams including Nevada and Sacramento State.
"I will also be back for the men's tournament. "Wow, I can remember leading that event when I played, it's a memory that I will never forget."
When David was here the team was one of the best teams on the west coast. He and his brother were two of the best golfer's competing. Both of them walked on to play at Fresno State.
" My most prized memory of playing at Fresno State would have to be playing 3 years of golf with my brother, Kevin [Sutherland]. "
During the Fresno State Lexus Classic there were plenty of volunteers who took time out of their days to participate in and support such an upcoming event.
"The support is something I will always cherish. The community always had open arms and welcomed us," said David. I am supportive of my team but at times I find myself cheering for Fresno State because I will always be a Bulldog at heart."
David stated, "When I was I playing we dominated because there weren't very many people that we competitive."
David believes that he is the coach that he is today due to the lessons he learned from coach Watney.
I also got to speak with another Fresno State alumnus, Chad Spencer. Spencer is in his first year as an assistant coach for Nevada men's and women's golf teams after spending the last three years as an instructor and club fitter at River Park Golf Center in Fresno, Calif.
He also spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons playing professionally on the Canadian Tour. In 2006, he finished 39th on Order of Merit on the Canadian Tour and was ranked in the Official World Golf Rankings.
He was a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs, earning second-team All-WAC honors in 2003 and first-team accolades in 2004. Spencer also garnered All-Southwest Region accolades after turning in nine top 20 finishes in 12 events his senior year.
After finishing his collegiate playing career, he served as an assistant coach at his alma mater in 2004-05.
Spencer stated, "I love being back in Fresno. It's only my first year coaching in Nevada and I really miss going and playing. The competitive part is what I miss the most. "
During the time that Chad was playing at Fresno state, he was a part of the 2003 WAC Championship team that included Nick Watney.
"I still talk to Mike on a regular basis. I really can't wait to come back in 2 weeks for the men's tournament, said Spencer. It's great to be back in college athletics, still wish I was playing but I appreciate the coaching aspect.
Another reason that Chad may be excited about being back in Fresno is because his fiancée Tiffany Veerkamp still lives here. Spencer met her at the golf course during the Fresno State women's golf team inaugural year. She played for Angie Cates-Moore.
"We met when I was helping coach as a Graduate Assistant. We were friends and it grew into a great relationship and now she is on her way to Nevada to be with me.
Tiffany added, "Man it's different because I live in Fresno still and I root for Nevada because my future husband works there.
"It's weird not playing and rooting for a different team, especially since I'm here at the Fresno invitational. I played for Angie on the inaugural team; it's awesome to see how much the sport has grown, said Veerkamp.
After leaving Sacramento State, Adam Pohll, found his way to the WAC by getting the Director of golf job at Nevada. He was replaced by David Sutherland at Sacramento State. He then hired Spencer. Both coaches played under Mike Watney. That must have made it a lot easier to get along with because they have the same coaching philosophy.
"I have been coming to this tournament for a while and I love it," said Pholl. "The people here are so welcoming."
"It's great to have Coach Spencer on my staff now. I know that by him playing under Mike he will be a great coach," stated Pholl.
Coach Pholl will be back in Fresno also in two weeks to get his team geared up to compete in the 2009 Fresno State Lexus Classic men's golf tournament. He will be able to reunite with coach Watney and also coach against him.
"The fun part about coming back is getting to coach against him and use the skills he taught me to capture the title," said Adam Pholl.
During Adam's freshman year Fresno state was ranked No. 20 in the country and won a WAC Championship.
"Mike knows what it takes to win. I just want to build a program in Nevada like the one I came from in Fresno," said Pholl.
Coach Pholl also gets to come back to Fresno to see his wife's family. His wife Stephanie Howard-Pholl is from Fresno and also and alumni.
"It's great to be back and see people I haven't seen in years and also to eat at my favorite places," said Howard-Pholl.
Both Coach Spencer and Pholl root for Nevada when Fresno State plays them in any sport. The wife and fiancée cheer for Fresno State.
It was great talking to all of the alumni that were at the women's tournament. I learned a lot that I didn't know about the program and where it came from. The coaches that I talked to can't wait to come back on March 9-10 for the men's tournament at the Belmont Country Club. I can't wait either. There will be 21 teams there and my birthday is on the second day of the tournament. Shout out to Tiffany Veerkamp. She is also a Pisces....March 9.
Louisa Lies, FR.
So, the last three days were very special to me. I competed for Fresno State in my first home tournament and what made it even more exciting was the fact that my parents came all the way from Europe to watch me (they combined it with a nice little vacation in Mexico though).
It was awesome to see them and to show them how I live on the other side of the world. I guess they finally got that I'm capable of living on my own, even 5000 miles away from home. They appreciated being here and especially watching the team play.
This makes me proud because I'm so thankful for everything they made possible for me and now I can give something back. They have supported my team as far as they could and they weren't alone. There were so many people out there on the course everyday volunteering or just supporting us which was great!
I had an amazing time playing in the tournament and being around my parents and my teammates' parents. We seemed just like a big family. I'm really looking forward to our next tournament in San Jose because I just got this huge boost of confidence and memories by seeing my parents and doing quite well in my first home tournament!
A new year...a new golf season gets underway pretty soon. The men's and women's golf team started practice this week and are extrememly excited about the new seson.
A new year...a new president. President Barack Obama was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009 and he is already ready to make changes for the better of the United States but also for himself. Like in the story below.....
The New "First Golfer"
President Barack Obama has a great passion for the game of basketball. That's why he decided that he would remodel the White House's sports facilities from a bowling alley to a basketball court. His wife Michelle thought he needed to play something less dangerous, or something that was easier on the joints of his body. So what do most RETIRED athletes play ... GOLF. Much like Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, Obama has done what most basketball players do as they become plagued with injuries. The funny thing is President Obama probably doesn't have a clue on how to dress to go play a round of golf, or better yet, if he does, he is probably not as comfy as he is in his basketball attire. Obama is roughly shooting in the 90's while playing golf but says that he plans on getting his handicap down and also getting a better swing under his belt before his term is up. Obama is nothing like Golf Digest's No. 1 rated president, John F. Kennedy, who shot in the 70's consistently. The 44th president is ranked No. 8 of 15 among other golfing presidents. He is just behind Bill Clinton and above the late Ronald Regan.
Golf Digest's Top 15 President Golfers:
Check out the Presidents swing:
Fall Season Wrap Up
With a few months off to prepare for the spring season, the Bulldogs will be ready to compete. They are still continuing to condition so that they can pick up where they left off.
Coach Watney and coach Cates-Moore believe that their players are making progress. Watney saw a glimpse of it at the final tournament and can't wait to see what the spring season has in store for the team.
Here is how the teams did in the fall:
The men's golf team opened up the season at the Guistina Memorial and finished in seventh place. Junior Grant Doverspike led the team shooting 3-under par and a Top Five finish. The team then competed in the Wolf Pack Classic, finishing in sixth place while shooting even par. Two `Dogs finished in the Top 20. Doverspike led the Bulldogs as he shot an even par for the third round to take 12th. Sophomore Michael Gideon tied for 16th, shooting even par for the tournament. The next stop for the team was San Diego to compete at the Sycuan Collegiate Invitational. They finished in a tie for eighth place after carding a combined 3-under 861. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Bryan Hogan. The sophomore notched 65 in the final round to finish in the Top 20 by tying for 19th place. At the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, the Bulldogs recorded their best finish of the season by tying for third place after shooting 859 (+7). Doverspike birdied the final three holes to get nipped by one stroke and place in a tie for second. This marked his best finish of the fall season along with one other Top Five performance. Two other Bulldogs finished in the Top 20 with Hogan and senior Matt Ryan both finishing tied for 18th.
The women competed in four tournaments in their fall season. The `Dogs averaged a team score of 301.25. The low round of the season came from Taylor Siebert with a 70 at the Heather Farr Memorial. Hali Coppin and Siebert have participated in every tournament so far this year. The women participated in the Ptarmigan/Ram Fall Classic, to open the season. The event featured four teams that competed in NCAA Regional action. The `Dogs finished in ninth and was led by Siebert with her stellar performance in the final round shooting a 74 to tie for 25th place. The Bulldogs then returned back to the green for their second competition, the OSU Giustina Memorial. The tournament concluded with the women placing fourth. Coppin and sophomore Chelsea Czinski led the Dogs, both tying for 13th place. The Fresno State women's golf team traveled to Broomfield, Colo., later in the month to participate in the 11th annual CU/Heather Farr Memorial Invitational. Siebert carded a total of one-over par to tie for 16th place. Fresno State finished tied for ninth place out of 20-teams shooting 23-over. The last tournament of the fall season was the Kent Youel Invitational in Hawaii. Junior Lindi Covarrubias led the team by individually finishing in 17th place and aiding in her team's 10th place finish.
The women's team will return to action for the spring season to host the Fresno State Lexus Invitational. Coach Angie Cates-Moore and Bulldogs will host the tournament at Copper River Country Club, Feb. 23-24, 2008. The Dogs hosted this tournament last year as the "Kitahara Invitational" but it has now been named the Fresno State Lexus Invitational. Senior Taylor Siebert clinched her first title during the home event in the spring of 2008.
The men will open up their spring season in Hawaii at the Hilo-Hawaii Invitational on Feb. 4-6. Later in the season the men will host the annual Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic. The competition will be held in March for the third year in a row. Coach Mike Watney and Bulldogs will host the tournament at Fort Washington Country Club, March 9-10, 2008.
Having played golf for about 10 years and many other sports as well I can tell you that golf is pretty much the only sport that I have ever had a routine in. No matter what part of the game I am in, whether it be lining up for a drive, on the fairway or in a bunker, I have the same approach to every shot. I always line up the club with my feet mentally to aim in the direction I want then I take two practice swings before I line up to the ball. If I am on the green I will walk around the green to check out the slope and then squat down behind my ball to line up the putt (something I definitely did take from our good friend Tiger Woods).
Thought of the day:
"Golfers who try to make everything perfect before taking the shot rarely make a perfect shot."
Do you believe in this thought? What about a particular routine...such as those that are done n baseball at home plate before batting or those done at the free throw line during basketball. Does that correlate in the sport of golf?
If you have any feedback to this idea or comment, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I will post you reply to get you involved in this blogging experience.
The Mental Approach for Better Golf
With having a basketball background I was given the task being the media relations contact for the men's and women's golf teams. As soon as I was told that I would be working with that sport, I was a little nervous. I am novice at the game of golf and I didn't exactly know how to approach the task of learning about it.
I made it a priority to do a little research every day. I looked up terminology, which is the most confusing aspect of the sport. I researched about the approach to find out that there is a completely different mental approach to golf than to basketball. While playing basketball, I was always told by my coaches to stop thinking so much and just play the game. Well in the game of golf all you do is think to prepare yourself for the hole that you are about to play.
Golf is a sport where the psychology of the game and the importance of mental toughness are most underestimated.
By definition, psychology is the science that deals with mental processes and behavior.
Beginning golfers will blame their lack of practice before blaming their mental preparation or strategy. Whereas, more experienced golfers will only rely on their technique and experience and abandon the mental part of the game as well. Ignoring the fact that the mind is the enemy of the game and it can cause you strikes.
Golf is the only sport where the most feared opponent is you.
Mental preparation is important for the game of golf because golfers play against the course, not each other. This means that there is never anyone to blame but oneself for a bad result. Knowledge of this creates a great deal of psychological pressure on the golfer; this pressure exists at all levels of play.
The mental preparation of golf will help you stay calm, clear the interference that leads to bad shots, and eliminate bad habits and mental mistakes. For example, many players carry the negative emotions tied to a bad drive or a missed putt to the next hole, or worse, for the rest of the round. Other players feel negative thoughts while standing over the ball, while none existed before. Others also feel their self confidence sink because of other player's shots.
Mental techniques will not only help you prepare your game, but also assist you during execution. It will also teach you how to respond to the result of any shot. The psychology of golf helps you learn how to purge failures.
These are the important areas to train and analyze in: how to keep your focus and concentration through each round of golf, how to keep yourself highly motivated, how to avoid being influenced by other peoples swings, how to transfer self-assurance and the confidence you feel on the practice tee to the golf course, how to reach emotional stability and touch-mindedness, and lastly, how to learn how to manage tension.
Just remember these three things:
1.The game of golf is 90% mental AND 10% mental.
-If you would like to get involved in this idea or you have any comments about golf, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly post them and make you apart of this blogging experience.
Take a look at the video below on sophomore Chelsea Czinski to better understand how psychology is essential to the game of golf.
"Get In The Circle!"
The women's golf team and I were practicing at Riverpark while Erica (media relations aka "basketball star") and her filming crew came and interviewed Chelsea. I was working on my chipping drills. The drill at the time was to focus on a spot where you want the ball to land and have the ball stop in a 4 foot circle around a particular hole.
During our drills, Erica came over to talk to some of us. I asked, "What's my name?" (She used to mix up Courtney, Louisa and I... probably because we are all blonde and new additions to the team.) She got it right this time! I proceed to ask Erica if she would like to hit a couple chip shots. Granted I knew golf was not her thing but I thought it would be interesting and fun to have her try and hit some chip shots. At first she declined and then five minutes later I asked again. She said, "Ok but you will laugh at me." I taught her how to grip the 58-degree wedge first. She picked it up really well. Normally when I teach the interlock grip I hear "this feels weird"... "No way that is awkward."
Next I taught Erica the stance and positioning of the wedge. I asked her to open her stance left of the target and open her wedge to add loft and equal out the open stance. After we accomplished this, we started the pendulum swing of the wedge. I asked her to brush the grass like she is sweeping the grass when she goes back and forth with the wedge. Now, when you are doing a chip shot it varies on how far your swing/pendulum goes. You should never speed up or slow down your swings... just lengthen your swing for more potential energy down toward the golf ball. For this instance Erica only needed to bring here wedge up to her right ankle and swing through to her left ankle.
About twenty minutes went by and Erica had not got a ball into the circle. Her problem was she was not staying down on the ball and sweeping though. She would basically stand up during her swing and the golf ball would jet across the green and stop on the opposite ruff. This soon would be funny after a while. She would hit a couple of good chips here and there but they were either short or too long. Finally her moment came... she hit a great chip shot and the ball started rolling toward the circle and I yelled, "Get in the circle!" she got the golf ball into the four-foot circle around the hole!!!
I commend Erica on trying to learn how to hit a chip shot! I know I had fun and I hope she did too! Maybe next time I will teach her the swing! I am now hoping she can show me a few moves on her territory... the basketball court.
What Do You Know About Hole-in-One's?
1. Do you know when the longest hole-in-one was made?
In March, 1961, Lou Kretlow holed his tee shot at the 427 yards 16th hole at Lake Hefner course, Oklahoma City, USA.
2. Do you know when the longest hole-in-one was made by a female?
The longest-recorded hole-in-one by a woman was that accomplished in September, 1949 by Marie Robie - the 393-yard hole at Furnace Brook course, Wollaston, Mass, USA.
3. Do you know who the oldest person is to make a hole-in-one?
In January 1985 Otto Bucher, from Switzerland, holed-in-one at the age of 99 on La Manga's 130-yard 12th hole.
The men's golf team returned to the green and is participating in the Nevada Wolfpack Classic. At the conclusion of the first round, they were in first place, shooting eight under par on a tough course. The course is considered to be tough because you have to stay out of creeks and stay under the holes also the green is fast.
The field include: Nevada, Saint Mary's, Kansas State, Sacramento State, Fresno State, New Mexico State, Air Force, Tennessee, Wichita state, UTEP, Arizona, Iowa State, and Louisiana-Monroe.
The Bulldogs line consists of Grant Doverspike, Matt Ryan, Bryan Hogan, Mike Gideon, Todd Angel, and Brian Sunker.
During the last tournament at OSU, the Dogs had scores of, 66,69,70,71,71,72,72,72,73,73,75,75,77, which is a lot of great golf. They were only 13 strokes behind the leader in a very tight field. Hopefully the experience of their last tournament helps them continue their great play in this tournament.
Hopefully later tonight I will hear some good news, Go Dogs!
Women's golf is on the road again getting ready to compete in the CU/Heather Farr Memorial Invitational.
The tournament's namesake was the childhood friend and LPGA Tour co-member of Colorado head coach Anne Kelly. An outstanding junior, amateur and professional golfer, Farr was well on her way to becoming a star on the Tour, but was diagnosed with a rare and serious form of the disease in her mid-20s. This tournament is being held as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Who is Heather Farr?
Heather Farr (March 10, 1965-Nov. 20, 1993),was an American golfer.
[March 10 is also my birthday]
Farr won three state championships at Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix. She is a member of the National High School Sports Hall of Fame and the azcentral.com Arizona High School Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1982, Farr enrolled at Arizona State University, where she played for the Sun Devils women's golf team. During her time at ASU, she became a well known golfer, both in Arizona and nationwide, winning the 1982 United States Girls' Junior Golf Championship and 1984 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links. Upon graduation in 1986, she joined the LPGA.
Heather Farr was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989. Her battle with cancer became national news for the next four years. Through 1993, The Arizona Republic newspaper kept a daily column which updated Farr's health condition. She became admired by many Arizonans because she kept hope of returning to the golf links soon, despite her ordeal. On November 20, after being debilitated by her disease, she died at age 28.
Her family established the Heather Farr Foundation. In addition to that, numerous golf awards have been named after her.
In 1994, the LPGA established the Heather Farr Player Award to celebrate the life of Farr. The award recognizes an LPGA Tour player who, through her hard work, dedication and love of the game of golf, has demonstrated determination, perseverance and spirit in fulfilling her goals as a player, qualities for which Farr is so fondly remembered.
Micheal Gideon aced the 13th hole during practice round at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis Oregon........
Man, how exciting, you would say! I know I`m pretty anxious to get my first hole-in-one. Well, I would be excited to get my first HOLE....haha! I can`t play a lick of golf, im not even that good at miniature golf, but I love to play it.
Paul Ladwig has been playing golf a lot longer then sophomore Gideon. So when I announced that during the practice round hole 13 was aced,he commended Gideon.
He clearly explained to me and the rest of the staff during the staff meeting that he has been at it for a while and he is yet to accomplish that task.
Paul, hopefully when the golf team comes back with their first place honors, Gideon will be more than happy to help you work on your swing.
Since I have been working with this team, I have become a little more golf savvy, I guess you would say. I find myself watching channel 36 on comcast cable, which is the GOLF network channel. Before having this job, I would probably skip past it and watch basketball or something.
I have learned something new everyday. I take what I have learned into play while watching tv. I can finally understand MOST of the terminology!
Hopefully our men and women are doing well in Oregon....
Louisa Lies, Fr., Germany
As a freshman you are usually confronted with all the new things going to a university, but in my case there is another important part called "golf".
Being a part of Fresno State's women's golf team is a great honor to me and so I think I was more excited then everyone else to participate in our first tournament in Colorado. I've played in a lot of tournaments all over Germany and Europe the last five years, but tournaments in America appeared to be different.
Not only the fact that we traveled in shirts, windsuits and tennis shoes, but also that playing a practice round with five people in one flight was allowed, was totally new to me.
[In Germany, the teams dressed in business attire when traveling to play in tournaments.]
Furthermore, we didn't stay in a hotel during the tournament; we stayed in private housing with families; which was awesome, because I had never done that before. The host families were amazing, they made all of us feel home! By the way, thanks Bonnie for the great goody basket and the bagels.
The first day of the tournament was also new to me, because we had to play 36 holes WITHOUT a break. That meant 10 hours of golf non-stop and afterwards I really appreciated the dinner at the club house and a hot shower. In Germany we've never played 36 holes without a lunch break so I had to enjoy a veggie wrap while I was playing.
I also really enjoyed meeting new players from other universities, many of them were freshman too and so we could share our impressions and experiences. Some of the other players weren't new to me because I met them during tournaments in Europe. I was reacquainted with a good old friend from Germany who is playing for Cal-Berkeley, which was just awesome because I haven¡¦t seen her in over a year.
All in all, Colorado was a great start for me and I am already excited about our next tournament coming up next week in Oregon!
The first week of college golf has come and the Bulldogs had a pretty solid opening week. Fresno State traveled to Fort Collins, Colo. to play in the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic hosted by Colorado State. The Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic is an annual season opening tournament for the women's golf team. The tournament usually has a great field of teams and the Dog's always shine.
With a new faces in the starting line up the Dogs had some nerves to fight through. For some it may have been the first time even going to Colorado.
They took the green and teed off at 8:30 A.M. MT. The weather was about 50 degrees cooler than that in Fresno and really windy, so the ladies had to layer up.
I spoke to coach Cates-Moore the night after the first two rounds and asked her how there accommodations where. She said that they were living in private housing on the course with families that own the houses.
The girls that had never gone before where in shock and wondered if every tournament they play in would have the same type of living arrangements.
The Dogs finished the Tournament in ninth out of 19 teams. Last fall season they finished in a tie for 11th place out of 20 teams.
This week, the Bulldogs need to have a blank slate and be ready to learn in practice because they have to be ready in two weeks to travel again. They will be traveling to Corvallis, Ore., another place that's going to be a lot colder than Fresno. They will be competing in the OSU Giustina Memorial along with the men's team. It will be exciting to play in the same tournament as the men and possibly bring back two first place finishes.