The University of Victoria Vikes men's golf team finished just six strokes back of repeat champions UBC on the final day of the A.I.I. Regional Golf Championship. The Vikes women also finished second to UBC, while four Vikes were named to the All-A.I.I. Team after the two-day event including men's golfers Lawren Rowe and Brandon McManus and women's golfers Laura Ferreira and Hannah Diamond.
The Vikes competed at Brassie Golf Club in Chesterton, Ind., from May 1-2, with the men logging 54 holes and the women playing 36.
Third-year Vike Rowe finished just one stroke behind A.I.I. Player of the Year and UBC Thunderbird Evan Holmes. Rowe tied for second place with UBC's Jack Wood, both finishing with a three-round total of 219. Rowe shot a 76 in his morning round and played catch up with a 71 in his third round of the tournament.
"Overall we were disappointed not to come out with the win today," said Vikes head coach Justin Clews on the men's team performance. "We played pretty consistent as a team in the morning round but unfortunately we couldn't put together enough birdies for a more solid team score."
McManus finished with a 224 after shooting his tournament lows of 73 and 74 on Day 2. The Vikes finished with a team total of 888, six strokes back of UBC (882), while significantly ahead of hosts and third placed Indian University Northwest (943). Victoria's Mike Griffin, Jake Hamilton and Jacob Hayes all contributed as the trio all finished Top 12 in a field of 32.
"Mike (Griffin) had a solid round of +1, 73 to start off the day but with the wind it was difficult for any of the players to shoot under par," added Clews of the cold, wet and windy conditions.
On the women's side, Ferreira finished fourth overall behind three UBC players including now two-time winner Kat Kennedy, Winnie Hyun and Kate Johnston. Ferreira shot a 78 in both rounds to finish with a 156, while Kennedy topped the board with a 146 and was named Player of the Year. Vike Hannah Diamond trailed Ferreira after shooting a three-round score of 157.
"The women had a pretty big gap to overcome heading into today's final round and UBC played some very tidy golf today to separate themselves even further from the field," described Clews of UBC's 295 score.
"I was so proud of Laura and Hannah's performance this week though. Both of them shot under 80 in both rounds and that's a real positive and I'm sure their overall performance boosts their confidence moving forward."
A team score of 643 put the Vikes in second but well behind the Thunderbirds who impressed with a team score of 599 to win their eighth-consecutive regional banner. Vikes Nicole Gargarella, Rhiannon Jones and Quinn Fitzgerald contributed after carding 163, 167 and 174, respectively.
Both the UBC women and men earn automatic berths to the NAIA National Championship. The men's championship will be hosted at the TPC Deere Run Golf Course in Moline, Ill., May 16-19. The women's championship will be at the PGA National Golf Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., May 23-26. Both the Vikes men and women will now await to see if they are granted a at-large berth to nationals, while Rowe automatically earns an individual spot based on his top performance at the 2016 championship.
2 – VICTORIA VIKES MEN 296-298-294 : 888 (+18)
T2 – Lawren Rowe 72-76-71 : 219 (+3)
5 – Brandon McManus 74-74-75 : 223 (+7)
6 – Mike Griffin 77-73-74 : 224 (+2)
T8 – Jake Hamilton 76-75-77 : 226 (+10)
12 – Jacob Hayes 78-79-74 : 231 (+15)
2 – VICTORIA VIKES WOMEN 323-320 : 643 (+67)
4 – Laura Ferreira 78-78 : 156 (+12)
5 – Hannah Diamond 79-78 : 157 (+13)
8 – Nicole Gargarella 82-81 : 163 (+19)
9 – Rhiannon Jones 84-83 : 167 (+23)
10 – Quinn Fitzgerald 87-87 : 174 (+30)