Golf to tee off conference season

Clifton Jones

Sacramento State golf is gearing up for another season as both men and women look to take the Big Sky Conference in the spring.

Senior Ryan Williams and junior Lisa Persson look to bolster the load in carrying their respective teams.

Williams had an outstanding first half of the season in the fall. His only bad tournament was when he finished tied for 65th place at the Bill Cullum Invitational where he shot an uncharacteristic 79-76-75, 230.

The senior’s highlight tournament the Pacific Invitational held Oct. 29-31. Williams shot his lowest score of the season posting a 70-68-66, 204 at the Brookside Country Club.

Persson, like Williams, played an outstanding fall season in the fall. Her best finish came at the Firestone Grill College Invitational where she won the event while scoring a fall season low, 71-72-75, 218.

However, like Williams, Persson had her times of confusion on the course where she finished in 32nd place with a score of 75-75-81, 231.

Although Williams and Persson played well last fall they are capable players that have played a lot last fall on both teams that could help make a successful late spring push to the conference tournament.

On the men’s side there are juniors Jordan Weir and Jordan Swanson; sophomores Owen Taylor and Eric Taylor. There is also freshman Aaron Beverly who played three events and did well.

Beverly played in three events during the fall season his best event that he competed at was the Pacific Invitational at the Brookside Country Club. The freshman tied 36th place and scored his career low 79-75-68, 212. Beverly’s worst event came at the Bill Cullum Invitational finishing tied for 85th shooting a score of 79-79-79, 237.

Head coach of men’s golf Christopher Hall said he is confident Swanson is capable of a breakout spring season.

“Swanson is becoming more comfortable in his golf game. Whether it is put up a good score or cruise with a score of 3-over-par as long as he doesn’t try to hard too make something happen,” Hall said.

The women’s team has freshmen Natalie Bodnar and Rockelle Sande; sophomores Nicolette Bondura, Ellese Dias, Lexie Hall and Sagee Palavivatana; junior Tiffany Nichols and senior Kercia Brakel.

Coach Sutherland of the women’s golf team said he is optimistic about the spring season ahead and Persson.

“Persson is a terrific young player and she has won over six times over her career.” Sutherland said. “There is no reason why she can’t win a couple more times this semester.”

Sutherland said he is not only optimistic about his star player, but for his team as a whole for this spring season.

“The gals went home and worked on their own game, but we had our first trial run yesterday. I think we did well. A lot of the girls worked on their weaknesses and focused on them to fix them,” Sutherland said.

The men’s team worked out with a trainer from the Titleist group, Doc Brown, to help them work on other muscles they were not working out in the gym.

Williams said Brown took time out of his day to come work with us for free; he can’t underestimate the value Brown is to the Hornet golf team.

Both coaches said their teams have a great chance in winning conference and making it to the NCAA Division I Invitational.

“We have a good chance in winning the conference at the end of the year after coming off a hard loss last year in Conference,” Sutherland said.

Hall said he knew that the first conference championship would the hardest to win. After Sac State won its first conference championship last season, he said he is confident that his team can go out and bring another one home.

Both teams’ first invitational is Sunday at the Folino Invitational in the City of Industry, Calif.

 

 

Clifton can be reached on Twitter at @JonesSHsports