Good Sports: Fresno State athlete Matthew Sutherland keeping family tradition alive

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "It's cool to carry on the family name," said Fresno State freshman Matthew Sutherland.

Sutherland is a household name at Fresno State. Brothers Kevin and David were All Americans on the 'Dogs golf team and went on to have successful careers on the PGA Tour.

The newest prodigy of the family is Kevin's nephew and David's son, Matt. He followed suit attending the university and is a freshman on the golf team.

"It was kind of in the back of my mind, I always wanted to go to Fresno State. But it wasn't one of the determining factors, I really looked at the program we have here and the people on the team, and the coaching staff and the special things Fresno has to offer," Matt said.

Head coach Chad Spencer is happy to keep the Sutherland tradition in the Valley.

"If you're a Sutherland you're going to be on our radar. We know David and Kevin very well, they're still associated with the program, so when we saw Matthew coming up we knew we had to have him," Spencer said.

Matt shot a round of 69 on the final day of the Nick Watney Invitational on Tuesday. He finished five under for the tournament and tied for 16th out of the 92-man field. After struggling early on, Sutherland fell back on his father's advice which helped him finish the back nine strong.

"He told me don' t be in a hurry to fix your problems. I kind of showed that today, you can't always hit one shot that's going to fix your problems that you're having during the round. You have to take your time, you have to be patient, and eventually, the good shots will come and you'll be able to grind it back," he said.

The Bulldog set a goal at the beginning of the year to be consistently in the top 20 of the field.

"I feel no pressure, my dad's been OK with me doing whatever I want, I didn't even have to play golf. It's definitely motivation to go out and beat the records that they've set," Matt said.

David Sutherland was a two time All American for Fresno State. Matt wants to earn that same honor over the next four years.

"I think his attitude is so good, he's already got the mentality of a professional. He just has to clean up some parts of his game, and he'll be where he wants to be," Spencer said.
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