It was a disappointing finish for University of Victoria Vikes golfer Lawren Rowe on the fourth and final day of the NAIA men's golf national championship hosted in Silvis, Ill. Rowe had an outstanding 2016-17 season with four individual titles and a second-place finish at the A.I.I. Regional Championship just before NAIA nationals. Despite weather conditions being an extreme factor all week the third-year Vike just couldn't connect and ended his fourth round 8-over, 79 with a final, four-round score of 23-over, 307.
"I'm really disappointed with this week's performance," said Rowe, who rightfully didn't want to revisit the past week. "I'm now just looking forward to the next week to get my game in shape for Canadians."
Rowe's best round of the week was on opening day when he shot 2-over, 73. Most of the field struggled throughout the second day because of rain and wind storms and officials were forced to postpone several rounds and shorten the cut. Rowe's 10-over, 81 score for his second round dropped him way off the top of the field but he managed to still make the cut and finished off the tournament with third and fourth round scores of 74 and 79.
"It was a tough morning today with temperatures hovering just above five degrees and sideways rain," said Vikes head coach Justin Clews, who commented daily on the inconsistent weather. "It was the weirdest weather I have seen after being high 20's earlier in the week."
"Lawren actually hit quite well today but struggled with his putter. Generally speaking, it was a tough week. We just couldn't get into any kind of rhythm and he didn't make enough birdies to stay with the leaders. It's just time to look forward towards Canadian nationals and prepare for that event."
Rowe carded par on 10 holes today but his short game kept him shy of any birdies, while he also logged eight bogeys.
It was a difficult ending to what has been a spectacular NAIA season for the third-year Vike, who was acknowledged as a UVic Male Athlete of the Year nominee in early April. Rowe still has an opportunity to win a national championship title this season as Clews' Vikes men's and women's golf teams will gear up for the Canadian University/College national championship hosted May 29 to Jun. 1 at Tangle Creek Golf Course in Barrie, Ont.