Sept. 28, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. -
Seeking to stage one of the premier collegiate golf events in Orange County, Cal State Fullerton will host the inaugural Folino Invitational on March 20-22, 2011, at the Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine.
Ten men's teams will compete over 54 holes and seven women's teams will vie over 36 holes in conjunction with a fund-raising amateur tournament for 15 foursomes of corporate sponsors and invited guests. The tournament is named for philanthropist Paul Folino, executive chairman of Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corporation and the primary benefactor behind the return of intercollegiate golf to CSF in 2009-10 after a hiatus of more than two decades.
"Our goal is to put on one of the most prestigious tournaments in Orange County," said Brian Quinn, CSF director of athletics. "We want to showcase our renewed golf programs and this will be a marvelous opportunity for the local golf community."
The amateur event will be held on Sunday (March 20) while the collegians are playing practice rounds. The men's teams will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday with shotgun starts while the women will play 18 holes each day.
Both the men's and women's teams from UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly have committed to the event along with the men from Cal State Bakersfield and the women from Long Beach State. The Hyatt Regency of Irvine will serve as headquarters hotel. There will be a welcome banquet on Sunday and an awards ceremony and BarBQ on Tuesday evening.
Golfers who would like to participate or those who wish to be a sponsor of the Folino Invitational should contact the Cal State Fullerton Golf Office at (657) 278-8225.
The men's and women's golf programs are funded by private contributions spearheaded by Folino, who is a member of the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Directors. Jason Drotter was hired as director of golf operations. He coaches the men's team and former LPGA pro and U.S. amateur champion Pearl Sinn-Bonanni coaches the women squad. Drotter was manager of Super Sports Golf and Recreation Center in Orange and also was the coach of the boys' and girls' golf teams at Villa Park High School for six years. He was a standout golfer at Long Beach State and has been a teaching professional.
Fullerton's teams practice at a number of local public and private courses including Coyote Hills in Fullerton, Western Hills in Carbon Canyon, Black Gold in Yorba Linda, Vellano in Chino Hills and Oak Creek as well as the Super Sports Center. Plans are on the drawing boards for an on-campus chipping and putting facility.
Fullerton last had men's golf in 1987-88 and women's golf in 1985-86. Both programs were successful at the College Division level in the 1960s and early 1970s. The men placed seventh in the NCAA championships in 1966 and Paul Wise was the individual champion in 1973. The women placed third in the nation in 1972.
Men's and women's golf are just two of 17 intercollegiate sports -- 10 women, 7 men -- offered at Fullerton, a member of the Div. I Big West Conference in 15 of those sports. The Titans have claimed 12 national team championships in 7 different sports, received hundreds of All-American awards and produced dozens of professional athletes in their 51-year athletic history.
The university, founded in 1957 with its first classes in temporary buildings in 1959, has grown into the second largest campus in the CSU system with more than 35,000 students and more than 2,000 faculty and staff. It has awarded nearly 200,000 degrees and produced many leaders in business, government, education and the arts. In a 2004 study, the annual economic impact of Cal State Fullerton on the community was measured at \$851 million and more than 12,500 jobs.