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Former T’Wolf sets new record for Sac State golf

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Former T’Wolf sets new record for Sac State golf

Julie Shutler.

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POSTED September 16, 2009 11:59 p.m.
Margaux Sheehan gave 2008 Sierra High graduate Julie Shutler someone to shoot for.

Sheehan visited then first-year Sacramento State women’s head golf coach David Sutherland and the rest of the team last season.

Sheehan set the standard of excellence for the program in 2007 when she led the Hornets to their first-ever Big Sky Conference championship. She wrapped up her decorated career that season with her name next to many program records, and the 2007 team stands as Sac-State’s best for the sport.

Shutler, now a sophomore, has someone else to shoot for.

Herself.

The two-time Manteca Bulletin All-Area Golfer of the Year opened the 2009-10 season by beating Sheehan’s 54-hole program record by two strokes in the Chip-N Club Invitational Monday and Tuesday.

Shutler finished an all-time personal best 2-under par (70-72-72-214) at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in Lincoln, Neb., while leading the team to a respectable fifth-place finish out of 14.

Shutler bounced back from a double-bogey on the fourth hole during the final round Tuesday and birdied the par-5 18th to end up at even par for the day, third place individually for the tournament and tops on Sac State’s record book for a 54-hole event. She is also the first female golfer from Sac State to finish a tournament under par.

“My coach told me (about the record) after I made my last birdie putt on the last hole,” Shutler said. “He was like, ‘You just broke the 54-hole tournament record by two strokes.’ I had no idea, and hearing that was a bonus.”

Emily Powers of Kansas leapfrogged Shutler in the standings by holing an eagle putt on 18 to finish 3-under. Shutler was four strokes behind medalist and North Dakota State freshman Amy Anderson, the 2009 United States Golf Association Junior Amateur champion.

“I was kind of bummed out I couldn’t play in the same group as (Anderson), because it would be cool to see someone shoot that low,” Shutler said. “She’s only a freshman, but she’s got a good track record.”

Trailing the country’s top female amateur golfer by just four strokes, while only herself being a sophomore, helped put things in perspective for Shutler.

“I’ve always felt like I was working to catch up to those types of players, that I was trying to get to their level,” she said. “Now I feel like I can compete with them. To contend to win was a big deal. That’s one of my big goals, to win a college tournament, and I came close.”

Shutler also has team-related goals. She hopes for the Hornets to return to the previously unprecedented heights reached by Sheehan’s team. Last year, Sac State took second in the Big Sky Conference Championships, trailing Northern Arizona by six strokes.

The Hornets should contend again. Fellow sophomore Justine Chen was tied for 12th while matching her previous best 54-hole score of 214 — sixth best in the Hornets’ 54-hole record list.

Missouri won the invitational’s team title with an 878, and Sac State’s fifth-place score was 904.

 “If we had been on our game, we could have taken the tournament or at least take second,” Shutler said. “What’s nice is that our second-round score (294) was the lowest we’ve had since I’ve been at Sac State, and our first goal this year was to break 300.

“That was pretty awesome to get that out of the way at our first tournament, but we’d like to win at least one this year. We have a lot of golf left, so I’m sure it will happen this year.”

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