The Washington State men’s and women’s golf teams are four days away from teeing off into the 2011 season.
After the resignation of Walt Williams, Garrett Clegg was named the new men’s golf coach, and he said he is excited about his team this year.
“We have put up good scores in qualifying,” Clegg said. “We have veteran leadership and we are in position to have a great year.”
Clegg said the Pac-12 conference is the best golf conference in the country, with UCLA, USC, Washington, Stanford and Oregon all in the top 15 teams in the country. He said he thinks the hardest tournament for the team will be the Gifford Collegiate at CordeValle hosted by UCLA. The course hosts the Frys.com open, a PGA tour stop that Tiger Woods is playing at this year.
“We will know a lot when we play down there,” Clegg said. “It is one of the toughest courses where we will face some of our toughest competition.”
The Cougars have a lot of talent in their top five players, with seniors Trent Sanders and Branden Dalton, junior Hank Frame and sophomores Cody Robinson and Kent Hagen. All of them have the ability to make a splash this year.
On the women’s side, the team has also been preparing hard for the beginning of the season.
“We have put in a lot of hard work in the summer,” Head Coach Kelli Kamimura. “We’ve had a great two weeks of practice and I think they look solid and are ready to go.”
Kamimura said the team has a lot of good players, including four juniors. Senior Kristen Allard is a silent leader on the team while junior Emma Betland sets an example for the team to follow.
At the end of October, the team will head to the Pac-12/SEC challenge, which Kamimura is circling on the team’s calendar.
“The Pac-12 and the SEC are the two top conferences in golf,” Kamimura said. “So it is a solid event and it’s as close to a national championship as you can get and I’m really looking forward to that event.”
The team will begin their season Monday in Worley, Idaho at the Circling Raven Golf Club Collegiate Invite. The next week, the team will host the Cougar Cup at Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
“My goal for the season is to continue to grow, continue to build, and get better and better,” Kamimura said. “I am a coach that focuses on the process and I teach my players to do the same. Slowly and surely, building and improving and competing, and that’s what I’m looking forward to this season.”
Clegg said the goal for the season on the men’s side is to make the post season and the national championship. The team will start the season Monday as well when they host the Palouse Cougar Invitational.
“I want the team to be competitive to win, play great and be in a position to win the tournament,” Clegg said.