The Long Beach State women’s golf team will start the season on the road by returning to the Ptarmigan/Ram Fall Classic next Monday and Tuesday. LBSU placed sixth in the tournament last year.
With successful rounds under their belt from the last season, the 49ers will be looking to put together a stronger team score in Fort Collins, Colo.
“[It’s] a golf course that sets up very well for us,” head coach Joey Cerulle said.
Coming into the season, Cerulle expects sophomores Simone Hoey and Monica Villarreal to be the 49ers’ top two players.
According to Golfweek’s rankings, Hoey is ranked No. 211 among all college golfers — the top player at LBSU last season. Hoey also competed in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in June.
Villarreal, winner of the L.A. City Women’s Championship with a 7-under-par 141 during the summer, had a particularly strong offseason. Originally at UC Davis, transfer player Villarreal will be playing in her first complete year with the 49ers.
“Looking for her to break out, and have a really strong year,” Cerulle said.
The three freshmen on the team, Rochelle Chan, Ashley Greer and Kati Thompson all come from surrounding cities. Cerulle said he looks for “local flare and talent” when recruiting a new roster.
The 49ers lost four-year starter Brenda Chhuor from last season’s team.
Cerulle, in his second year at The Beach, looks to return this year with “a positive attitude and good communication.” He had a strong first year, finishing last season second in the Big West Conference Championship.
After the Ptarmigan/Ram Fall Classic, LBSU will travel to Michigan to compete in the Mary Fossum Invitational, Sept. 25-26. The tournament provides a fresh course for the 49ers along with a new set of teams that LBSU has never seen before.
“[We want to] work really hard and definitely show that the West Coast can play with anyone in the Central,” Cerulle said.
Ranked No. 73 to start the season, LBSU continues on the road at the Dale McNamara Invitational in Oklahoma, Oct. 11-13.
Cerulle said the tournament is a new three-day event with an “extremely good field,” which includes No. 28 Oklahoma State, No. 29 Texas, No. 38 UNLV, No. 52 Tulsa, No. 62 Missouri and No. 69 Oklahoma.
Following the Dale McNamara Invitational, LBSU returns to California to compete in the Lamkin Grip Invitational Nov. 1-2 to close the fall season in Arroyo Grande.
“[We’re] looking forward to win this one … to come out and be on top of the field,” Cerulle said of the Big West-hosted tournament.