Women’s golf looking to host first invitational since ’09

Patricia Carpenter

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The last time the Sacramento State women’s golf team held an invitational was back in 2009 at Valley Hi Country Club in Elk Grove.

However, women’s golf head coach David Sutherland is currently in discussion of potentially putting one together for the 2015 spring season.

“I would like to do it again,” Sutherland said. “It strengthens our program and saves us a lot of money.”

It saves the Hornets in travel costs and typically the host team does not pay an entry fee where  a fee usually ranges from $700 to $1,000 depending on the course.

Sac State women’s golf program has not been able to consistently host a tournament of their own because of  certain major moving parts involved during the planning stages.

“The real key is to just find the right golf course that is interested in hosting a tournament between a partner with it,” Sutherland said.

The most challenging part of the planning process is finding a golf course that is willing to financially give up their facility for three days.

“It’s difficult for that golf course to not take some sort of a financial hit when they do that,” Sutherland said.

Under Sutherland’s tenure, the women have hosted two events and the men’s golf team will be hosting their second event at Valley Hi Country Club in March of this season. In 2008, Sac State women’s golf team hosted the NCAA west regionals, which included a larger field of competition.

Sutherland is solely responsible for putting an invitational together, unlike the regional competition where he had help from a tournament director and committee.

“It’s fun for the kids to play at home,” Sutherland said. “They enjoy (when) their friends and family come watch them play.”

The only gender issue that is a factor deals with the amount of tournaments the men and women compete in during a season. This is why the Sac State men’s golf team was able to secure a second event.

Junior Sagee Palavivatana is hoping Sac State will be able to host a tournament next season and believes it would be great for their program.

“It’s kind of tough for women in the golf world,” Palavivatana said. “For the [women] it’s so difficult because we don’t play as many tournaments as they guys.”

The men play around 11 or 12 tournaments compared to the women who usually play eight.

“It’s hard to find teams to just come and play because they already got their schedule or they already know where they’re going to play next season,” Palavivatana said.

This becomes trickier because the other women’s golf teams are not looking to add extra events. In a perfect tournament scenario, the field would consist of at least 12-13 teams.

“You have to communicate with the other coaches, look for the right date and find the right golf course,” Sutherland said.

In past attempts the problem was not being able to coordinate the right dates, lacking the amount of teams needed and avoiding scheduling conflicts with tournaments the women are participating in next season.

Right now Sutherland is in the process of contacting courses and putting together potential dates for next season.

Sutherland is looking into hosting the Sac State women’s invitational in place of Fresno State’s previous tournament date in the spring of next year since the Bulldogs pushed their event back to March.

“I think there is a very good chance we will be hosting a tournament this time next year,” Sutherland said.


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