College

Thursday, Jan 23 2014 10:27 PM

Fundraiser nets $130K for CSUB golf program

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    CSUB's new golf coach, Greg Osbourne, poses with some of his players from left, Chandler Bullman, Michelle Marteo, Micah Lopez, Dylan Lym, Jordanne Barr, Malea Miller, and Matthew Deford in this July 2013 photo.

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BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer jevans@bakersfield.com

Greg Osbourne surprised himself and his boss with his first fundraiser for his Cal State Bakersfield golf program.

Osbourne announced that Monday's par-3 golf tournament at Rio Bravo Country Club generated $130,000.

The CSUB golf program, which includes men's and women's teams, is a self-supported program. To survive, it must raise all of its operating costs.

"Our goal was to make $100,000," Osbourne said.

Ziggy Siegfried, CSUB's senior associate athletic director for external relations who oversees the golf program, said between $100,000 and $120,000 must be raised annually to keep the golf program afloat.

"There had been dollars raised prior to that of $65,000," Siegfried said. "I've never seen a golf event this successful. It was excellent."

The fundraising got a huge lift from some individual cash gifts.

Steve Rader, former president of Univision and now CEO of Clarity Partners Group in Beverly Hills -- a hedge fund investment corporation -- is a longtime friend of Osbourne's and pledged to match any raised money up to $50,000.

Jose Arredondo of Jose Arredondo Enterprises owns a local Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen dealership. He won the net portion of the tournament and donated $30,000, Osbourne said.

Diane Lake, a local philanthropist, donated $20,000 prior to the start of the event, Osbourne said.

Osbourne said there was no entry fee for the 71-player event, which featured all par-3 holes at Rio Bravo. "The tournament was 100 percent donation, so you really find out who your supporters are," he said.

Osbourne, who was named CSUB's director of golf on May 9, said he began working on the tournament two months ago.

"Every day I met someone new and different in Bakersfield who would introduce me to someone else," Osbourne said. "I can't thank the golfing public enough."

Osbourne was a successful golf coach at Glendale College and had success with a 3-par tournament fundraiser when he coached the Vaqueros.

Raising more than the minimum required can increase the golf budget for scholarships and travel. CSUB has the equivalent of one scholarship for men's golf and one for women's golf.

"We gotta get good quick," Osbourne said. "It's not a complicated formula. It's money, and you need money to recruit players and you must have money to travel and play in the best tournaments. ...

"We want to play against the best players. If we do that, with better competition and the better we do, you want to get ranked by the NCAA.

"And when the NCAA Regionals come, ranked teams get put into the Regionals."

Osbourne said Rio Bravo Country Club proved invaluable by opening its golf course for the tournament on a holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"Because it was a holiday, most country clubs wouldn't let us play because they wanted to let their members play," Osbourne said.

"John Yu, the Rio Bravo general manager, was great. Patti Maxwell (Rio Bravo's foot and beverage manager) did an excellent job with the food. Nick Vallejo (Rio Bravo's assistant golf pro shop manager), a longtime Bakersfield guy, was great. You couldn't have a better mix."

Longtime CSUB booster Kevin Small hosted Osbourne and several of his friends at the Small home on Sunday after a round of golf at Bakersfield Country Club.

"Kevin and (W.A. Thompson president) Mary Trichell -- those two kept us going for the fall," Osbourne said.

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