Ex-Spartan golfer named as college golf coach of the year

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Former Rio Mesa High School standout Stephanie Martin Barker was recently voted the coach of the year of the Ohio Valley Conference after her Morehead State University women’s golf team won the 54-hole Ohio Valley Conference Championship by 14 strokes over Murray State.

Martin Barker, a former professional golfer and experienced collegiate coach, is in her second season as women’s head golf coach at Morehead State. She was hand-picked in September of 2007 to resurrect the MSU women’s golf program, which had last competed during the 1982-83 season.

Before taking the job at Morehead State, Martin Barker spent six seasons as women’s head golf coach at the University of Kentucky. During her tenure at Kentucky, Martin Barker’s Wildcat squads consistently finished among the nation’s top 60 teams. More than 80 percent of UK’s players under her guidance improved their stroke average, and two players improved by more than seven strokes in a single season.

Before joining the Kentucky coaching staff, Martin Barker was named 2001 Big Sky Conference Women’s Golf Coach of the Year after leading Cal State-Northridge to a second-place finish in the Big Sky, the school’s best finish. Before joining the coaching ranks, she played professionally on the LPGA, Australian, Futures and European LPGA Tours. Martin Barker was a member of the Rio Mesa High School boys golf team. As the team’s No. 1 player, she led Rio Mesa to two league championships and won the Southern California High School Championship in 1989.

Mataisz Memorial: The 22nd annual George Mataisz Memorial Golf Tournament will be held June 4 at Soule Park Golf Course in Ojai. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Nordhoff High boys and girls golf teams.

Cost to enter is $65 with entry deadline being June 1. For information or to register contact Dick Sebek at 646-7503 or at dsebek@ojai.K12.ca.us.

Hole-in-one report: Patrick Sandoval of Simi Valley scored his second career hole in one when he aced the 171-yard second hole at Westlake Golf Course. Sandoval used a 3-iron to score his perfect shot. It was witnessed by Paul Canter.

Charity golf: The Kingdom Center will host the first Kingdom Center Classic on May 23, at Buenaventura Golf Course in Ventura. Cost is $125 per person or $425 donation per foursome. Proceeds will benefit the Kingdom Center and its efforts to end homelessness in Ventura County. To register please call Jeff Argend at 647-2455.

Range reopens: Back in March, high winds and rain damaged the Lindero Country Club driving range. But with repairs now complete, the club will hold a grand reopening on Saturday. General manager Ron Cox said they have painted all the poles, put in new lights and all new netting and added targets. Both the range balls and mats are also new. As part of the celebration, they will be giving away some caps, sleeves of golf balls and offering range and drink specials. Callaway and Pure Grips will be on the property for a demo day.

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