February 22, 2011

Auto Club Title Sponsor

Feb. 22, 2011

Fullerton, Calif. - The Automobile Club of Southern California will be the presenting sponsor for the inaugural Folino Invitational to be held on March 20-22 at the Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine in support of Cal State Fullerton intercollegiate golf.

"We're very pleased that the Auto Club has agreed to become our partner for this inaugural event," said Director of Athletics Brian Quinn. "We feel most fortunate to have a sponsor of such high visibility -- theirs is a household name."

The Auto Club was honored with the Titan Award in 2010 for service to the university and has been a major supporter of the Mihaylo College of Business and its Center for Insurance Studies.

"Cal State Fullerton provides great value and a well-rounded experience that prepares its students for the future," said Thomas McKernan, Auto Club CEO. "We're pleased to support the university's efforts to strengthen its intercollegiate sports program with the Folino Invitational."

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 22 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 and the Auto Club's support will only enhance the experience for these fine, young golfers," said Quinn. "We are out to showcase our renewed golf programs and this event is 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 CSF, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly will be competing along with the men's teams from Cal State Bakersfield, Seattle University, St. John's, Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara and the women from Long Beach State, Portland State and Sacramento State.

The Hyatt Regency of Irvine will serve as headquarters hotel. There will be a welcome banquet on Sunday and an awards ceremony and barbecue on Tuesday evening.

CSF's men's and women's programs recently began the spring portion of their schedules. The men play again on March 7 and 8 at the Del Walker Invitational in Long Beach and the women play the same dates at the Lexus Classic in Fresno. Both programs are funded by private contributions spearheaded by Folino, who is a member of the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Directors.

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.