Camosun leads the charge as 2016 PING CCAA national golf championships get underway
The reigning Camosun College Chargers men’s golf team is in hot pursuit of a repeat title at the 2016 PING Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Golf Championships this week in Charlottetown, PEI. This year’s event is hosted by Holland College at the Fox Meadow Golf and Country Club, October 18-21.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge of defending our title,” states Camosun Head Coach John Randle who has led the Chargers to eight consecutive national championships. “Knowing that we’ve done it before is definitely a confidence boost.”
Ranked No. 1 going into the championship, Camosun stands at the top of fifteen teams vying for the crown in the men’s competition. Ten of the country’s best women’s teams are also in a race for gold, including the host school’s Holland Hurricanes. Link to the complete list of competitors and the Official Leaderboard Website here.
While the effects of travel and changing time zones will present one set of challenges to the Chargers and other teams who will be flying coast to coast, it is the ever-changing weather conditions in Atlantic Canada conditions that have organizers posting caution to participants.
In a recent release from the CCAA, competitors have been forewarned of the shifting temperatures that can be found anywhere between zero and 15 degrees Celsius with a wind-chill. High winds and the availability of few sheltered areas on the 72- par course host course are also to be considered.
“We’ve played in all kinds of weather, especially lately,” says Coach Randle. “I think our biggest challenge will be the travel and being rested and prepared after changing time zones and losing a day for travel. I'm glad we are arriving three days before the start so we can adjust our clocks and get lots of time to learn the course.”
Helping the Chargers prepare for the event is nine-time PACWEST and CCAA championship medalist and fifth-year Chargers veteran Brady Stead who recently rejoined the program as Assistant Coach.
“My role as an Assistant Coach is to mainly share some of the things that I have learned as a player,” comments Stead. “I know these guys very well and I feel like I have a good idea of what the pressure feels like heading into a championship, so hopefully, my tips can help the guys embrace the pressure and continue being successful as they have done all season.”
“It’s great having Brady back in the fold,” says Coach Randle. “He’s been great hosting practices and relating his experiences of growing his game over his years with the team. It is very helpful to have a former player who played so well and echoes my thoughts on preparation and game plan with his great results to back it up. Brady has spent a lot of time learning about the mental side of the game and his knowledge there is really helping the guys.”
Representing Camosun at this year’s competition are Matt Matheson (West Vancouver), Mac Keats (Cochrane, AB), Scott Merriam (Cranbrook), Jeff Riches (Victoria) and Mike Flegel (Moose Jaw, SK). Camosun’s foursome of Matheson, Keats, Riches and Merriam finished the 2016 PACWEST season Top 10 in men’s individual conference play.
“We are very lucky to have five guys who can all win if they play their best,” comments Coach Randle. “Our depth gives us a great chance to be successful in the coming days.”
Wind, rain or shine, fans will be able to watch live video coverage of the event – a first for the CCAA thanks to the advanced efforts of hosts Holland College in collaboration with Bell TV 1 and Universum Media.
Viewers can access the live-stream from Wednesday’s first tee shots through to Friday’s closing ceremonies. Holes available for viewing include 1, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 18 as well as highlights from around the course and interviews throughout each day of the event.