Coming off a sixth consecutive victory in the Hatter Classic last November, the Stetson women’s golf team will travel all the way to the west coast to open the spring season.
The Hatters will play in the Cal State Fullerton Folino Invitational at Industry Hills Golf Course at Pacific Palms Resort. The women’s tournament will be played on “The Babe” Course, named for women’s golfing legend Babe Didrikson Zaharias. The course will play to a par 71 covering 6,067 yards.
Hatters coach Floyd Kerr said the course is what makes this tournament so challenging.
“This course plays extremely hard,” Kerr said. “In addition to having just one team break 900 last year, four of the teams shot over 1,000. The Babe Course is extremely tight with a lot of water.”
The Hatters will be among 12 teams in the field for the women’s tournament. There will also be a nine-time men’s tournament played on the adjoining course, which is named for former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In addition to the Hatters, the tournament will include teams from Boise State, Cal Poly, host Cal State Fullerton, Gonzaga, Hawaii, New Mexico State, Portland State, UC Riverside, Montana and Wyoming. Gonzaga is the defending tournament champion, winning the event last February by 13 shots over the host Titans with a score of 897.
The defending individual champion, Tara Green of Montana, is also back to defend her title.
After Saturday practice rounds, the tournament will include three days of competition with 18 holes each day. The Hatters will play the opening round on Sunday starting at 12:17 p.m. (ET) and will play the first day with players from Sacramento State and New Mexico State.
Kerr said his squad, which is made up of five juniors, is ready to get back into competition.
“We are excited to get the spring season started,” Kerr said. “We’ve had some good practice and I think the team is ready to play some good golf this spring. We showed signs in the fall of playing to our ability, and I think with the confidence we gained in the fall we should lead to some much better performances this spring.”
Claudia Redinger, who qualified first for the Hatters, said she and her teammates are ready to get back to competition.
“I'm really excited for this tournament and I know the rest of the team is really looking forward to it too,” Redinger said. “I think this semester is going to be a lot better than our fall season, and it's a great opportunity for our team members to start stepping up to the plate.”
Redinger will be joined by Sammi Smith, who finished the fall by winning the Hatter Classic, Jenna Hoecker, Ryan Ashburn and Mallory Viera.
Live scoring from the Folino Invitational will be available throughout all three rounds on GolfStat.com.