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CSU golf approaches season with new 1st-years, transfers

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Collegian | Brian Peña

With the Colorado State men’s and women’s golf season about to begin, the Rams will finally get to see how their new additions will perform in the 2023-24 season. 

The men’s golf team had surprisingly little action over the offseason, with no new transfers added to the roster. However, the Rams added three new first-years: Jake Rodgers, Sebastian Nilsson and Derek Lekkerkerk. These new additions will hopefully bring CSU to another NCAA championship appearance.

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Rodgers hails from Mulino, Oregon, and attended Canby High School. During his time at Canby, he won the Future Champions Golf Western States Junior Players Championship and the 2022 FCG Pacific Northwest Championship. Rodgers was the top-ranked recruit out of Oregon in 2022 and the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Junior Amateur Champion.

First-year recruit Nilsson is one of two Swedish players and three total international players on the men’s team. The 6-foot first-year from Sundsvall, Sweden, was ranked No. 324 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings at the time of his signing. Nilsson also won several international tournaments and will be a stellar addition to the Rams.

Lekkerkerk is an incoming first-year from Twin Falls, Idaho. During his time at Twin Falls High School, he helped his team to the 2021 state championship, becoming the 2021 individual state champion. Lekkerkerk earned multiple all-conference titles and was named Team MVP.

“With several incoming first-years and transfers, CSU aims to continue their growing success in the 2023-24 season.”

For the women’s side, there was also very little transfer action over the summer. Despite this, the Rams added one new transfer as well as one incoming first-year to the roster. CSU’s new additions are transfer Katie Stinchcomb and incoming first-year Kara Kaneshiro.

Stinchcomb transferred from the University of Memphis as a junior. During her time at Memphis, she competed in all 20 events over the two seasons she was there. For those two seasons, Stinchcomb had one top-10 finish and five top-20 finishes.

Stinchcomb is from Cave Creek, Arizona, and played golf for Pinnacle High School. At Pinnacle, she helped her school to the national championship in 2020 at Pinehurst and at that same tournament was the individual runner-up. 

Kaneshiro is the Rams’ incoming first-year, hailing from Honolulu. Kaneshiro attended Kalani High School, where she played golf for all four years. At Kalani, she was the 2022 and 2023 Oahu Interscholastic Association individual champion as well as a first-team member.

Kaneshiro was also the Hawaii State Women’s Amateur Champion in 2021 and 2022 and the Team MVP in 2022 and 2023. With the two new players for the women’s team, hopes are high for the Rams going into the new season.

Overall, the Rams have made several good additions to their team for the upcoming season. With several incoming first-years and transfers, CSU aims to continue their growing success in the 2023-24 season.

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The men’s team begins their season at the Ram Masters Invitational Sept. 6-7, and the women’s team starts their season a little later at the Badger Invitational held by Wisconsin Sept. 17-19.

Reach Emma Askren at easkren@collegian.com or on Twitter @emma_askren.

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About the Contributor
Emma Askren
Emma Askren, Sports Editor
Emma Askren, alongside Damon Cook, is the fall 2023 sports editor for The Collegian. She began working at The Collegian during her first year in the fall of 2022, when she covered the swim and dive team as well as anything sports-related. She is currently a sophomore at Colorado State University, where she is majoring in journalism and media communication and double minoring in Spanish and sports management. During her first year, she joined the rowing team, began working as a reporter for The Collegian and working at the Student Recreation Center. Askren applied to CSU as a journalism major, knowing she wanted to combine her passion for sports and writing to create a fulfilling career. Upon realizing that Rocky Mountain Student Media was hiring for first-years, she jumped at the opportunity to become a writer for The Collegian. While working for the sports desk, Askren has had the opportunity to write about hockey, logging, whitewater rafting and the importance of women in sports. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she seeks to break the status quo and become a successful sports journalist following graduation. Following a year as a sports reporter, Askren became a co-editor for the sports desk alongside Cook. Together the duo seeks to create a new and improved sports desk that caters to all readers of The Collegian and beyond.

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