It seems as though the CSU golfers have decided to start their Spring Break a week early. The men are going to Florida and the women are off to California.
Relaxing on the beach or sleeping well into afternoon will not be at the top of these golfers' to-do list this week, however. Winning a tournament is. The teams are facing some tough competition, but their goals are defined and they are focused on victory.
The men's team is heading to Orlando, Fla., to compete in the Irish Spring Invitational hosted by Notre Dame. The 2005 tournament will be played March 7 and 8 at the Par 72 El Campe�n Golf Course at the Mission Inn Resort in Orlando. Built in 1926, El Campe�n, or "The Champion," is one of the oldest golf courses in the country. The course's signature hole is the par-5 17th hole, a long, double dogleg that will prove to be a challenge to all players over the course of the tournament.
The Rams hope to build on their recent 12th-place finish in Hawaii.
"We are focusing on shaking off the competitive rust and getting all five guys to play their best at the same time," said senior John Hayes. "If we can improve our consistency each time we play, we have a good chance of reaching our goal of making it to regionals this season."
The expected tournament field will consist of 13 teams: Ball State, Penn State, Rollins, Bowling Green, Eastern Kentucky, Mississippi State, San Diego State, Wichita State, Cleveland State, Notre Dame, Richmond and Washington State.
The women's team is also geared up for its season-opening tournament in San Jose, Calif. The women are making their first appearance at the Spartan Invitational Tuesday and Wednesday in Salinas, Calif. San Jose State hosts the tourney.
The tournament will be played at the 5,826 yard, par-72 championship course at Corral De Tierra Country Club. The field consists of UCLA, California-Irvine, UNLV, Brigham Young, San Francisco, California, San Jose State, New Mexico State, Colorado, Fresno State, Hawaii, Santa Clara, Cal State-Monterey Bay and Washington.
Head coach Angie Hopkins is excited to begin the spring season.
"We just had our best fall season in CSU history and we are looking forward to a great spring. We have been practicing all February and we are definitely ready for a tournament," Hopkins said.
The women's main goal for the season is to qualify for the NCAA regional tournament in May. The women have four seniors in the lineup.
"They want to go out with a bang. They are very focused and determined to leave their mark in the CSU record books," Hopkins said.