The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Golf Team’s poised for spring season

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Sonoma State Athletics
Lucas Happy focusing in to line up his putt.

With the bar set high by last season’s achievements, anticipation is mounting for the upcoming challenges and triumphs that the men’s and women’s golf teams are poised to face in the upcoming spring season. When speaking to head coach Val Verhunce about team goals for the spring season, he said, “We want to go compete for a national championship and both teams have the ability to do so we just have to put the work in along the way.” For both the men’s and women’s golf teams, Verhunce’s goals for the approaching season set a high bar. A single objective of reaching new heights for the program and a shared ambition to compete for a national title unifies the athletes and coaching staff.

The men last fall started the season strong with placing first at the Sonoma State Fall Invitational with fifth year Lucas Happy having an outstanding performance throughout and finishing first overall. Third year’s Colin Huang and Ivan Sablan contributed to the team’s success by finishing in second and third to help secure the team title with their sub-par rounds. The success carried over to the Wildcat Invitational with the team finishing second overall and having one of the most historical first-round performances in Sonoma’s history. Three of the team’s starting five would score rounds of five under par or better, Huang would card a bogey-free round, Happy had eight birdies, and first year Jack Brown would card seven birdies and a four-under back nine. 

While the second half might have not been in their favor, Huang had a standout performance during the HPU Sharks Shootout with him setting a program record of eight-under par. “I never thought of chasing history. It felt like that round happened by accident. It was like a culmination of a lot of hard work that I put in,” said Huang. While the team ended up finishing eighth in the HPU Sharks Shootout and twelfth in the Dennis Rose Invitational, it shows that hard work and determination are remembered and recognized.

The women had a great overall fall season with top-three finishes in every event they played in. Their best performance was at the Westminster Wasatch Invitational, where they won the DII 54 for IX event and took first place with second year Avery Foster making an impressive debut. Foster finished the three-round event at nine-over-par to take second place individually. 

Second year and reigning CCAA Freshman of the Year, Talia Gutman, had three birdies on the back nine to finish two-over-par to finish in fifth. As the team reflects on their collective and individual achievements, the focus shifts to how they can use these experiences to develop their game even further, laying the groundwork for a season that not only builds on their previous success but also raises the bar for their levels of performance. 

As the excitement for the next spring season grows, both teams have the opportunity to not only build on their past achievements but also achieve new heights, with every swing and putt advancing them closer to their common goal of contending for a national championship.

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About the Contributor
Marc Duran, Staff Writer
Marc Duran is a third year communication major at Sonoma State.
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