Rene Mondine, who developed close bonds with many of his players that lasted long after his college coaching career ended, died Monday in Sacramento after a short battle with leukemia. He was 73.
Mondine started coaching men's golf at Sacramento State in 1986. He also became the women's coach with that program's inception in 1996. He held both positions until his retirement in 2004.
Several of Mondine's players helped care for him in his final weeks. His wife, Susan, died last year.
"He used to say it's family first, school second and golf third," said Mackenzie Martin, who played under Mondine from 1998 to 2003. "He practiced what he preached. The man had the biggest heart."
Mondine was a fine player who competed for Sac State in 1959. He won the Sacramento City Amateur in 1961 and won club championships at Rancho Murieta, Haggin Oaks and Bing Maloney.
Decision on long putters
The Golf Channel starting today at 5:30 a.m. will provide live coverage of a teleconference where a decision regarding long putters is expected to be announced by the United States Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club.
Anchoring a club to a part of the body other than the hands is expected to be made illegal. Any change wouldn't take effect until 2016 and assuredly would face legal challenges.
Erik Flores (Grass Valley) begins play today in the 108-hole final stage of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament in La Quinta. Patrick Cantlay, Steve Flesch, Robert Karlsson, Nick O'Hern and Camilo Villegas are also among the 174 players vying for 25 tour cards.
Kim Welch (Roseville) and Lisa Ferrero (Lodi) begin play today in the 90-hole final stage of the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament in Florida. Christina Kim and Melissa Reid are also among the 122 players vying for 20 tour cards.