A golfer from the country of Nepal is not something you commonly hear about in this part of world.
Pratima Sherpa changed that storyline at SBCC. She traveled nearly 8,000 miles to play for the Vaqueros and completed her first college season by finishing in fourth-place at the California Community College State Championships.
The Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table is honoring Sherpa as its College Women’s Golfer of the Year.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sherpa and the other college and high school athletes of the year for the fall and winter seasons are being honored in a virtual format. The awards are being presented through the Round Table’s social media platforms of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and on the Noozhawk.com Sports Page.
Awards are not being presented in spring sports because the season was cut short by the pandemic.
Sherpa shot two rounds of 74 at the Morro Bay Golf Club to place fourth and help the SBCC team take seventh at the state championships.
“She was tremendously focused at the end of the season,” said SBCC coach Chuck Melendez.
Sherpa grew up in Kathmandu and learned to play golf by using a club fashioned out of a tree branch by her father, who, along with her mother, were maintenance workers at Royal Nepal Golf Club.
She entered her first tournament at age 11, and in a span of six years won 33 trophies.
Sherpa shot her best round for SBCC in her second collegiate round, a 1-under par 70 at Buenaventura Golf Club in the South Coast Classic.
She shot an even-par 72 to earn medalist honors in the sixth Western State Conference regular-season event at San Dimas Canyon.
SBCC went 40-10 in the conference and finished in second place.
In the postseason, she finished fourth in the 36-hole WSC Finals and sixth in Southern Cal to qualify for the state finals.
She received a full scholarship from Cal State L.A.
“She’s one of the best players I’ve coached in my 40 years of coaching,” said Melendez. “She has great character and every attribute you could imagine. It was so fun to be part of her success at SBCC.”