The University of Victoria Vikes men’s golf team were in exceptional form after the opening 18 holes of the Vikes Shootout on Oct. 16 at Cordova Bay Golf Course. Three Vikes are in the Top 5 of the individual standings, while the team leads by 10 shots over UBC heading into the second and final round tomorrow.
“It’s nice to have two guys shoot under par as we haven’t had that in a while but I still feel we could have been a lot better to be honest,” said Justin Clews, Vikes golf head coach, highlighting Lawren Rowe and Mike Griffin‘s performances today. “Much like the girls, putting was definitely a weakness but all-in-all a double-digit lead is nice. In saying that, they still have to put the pedal to the medal tomorrow. You can’t really just coast with a 10-shot lead. UBC, in particular because we have played with them so much, we know they can bounce back quite easily.”
Fourth-year Vike Lawren Rowe finished as the overall individual leader with a 2-under-par, 69 score after carding five birdies and shooting par on 10 holes. Rowe is followed closely by his two team mates, Mike Griffin and Bruce Tomie, who both shot 1-under-par, 70. Jacob Hayes shot a 72 to sit tied for fifth place, while fourth-year Vike Jake Hamilton is in 10th place with a first-round score of 74.
As a group the Vikes shot 1-over-par, 285, with scores from Rowe, Griffin, Hayes and Hamilton contributing. Josh Miller was the fifth team score for the Vikes and he carded a 75, while Tomie and Russell Du Toit were competing as individuals in the event.
UBC’s Charles David Trepanier had the lowest score from a team other than the Vikes and he shot par to sit in fourth place. Manitoba’s Jack Werhun was tied with Hayes in fifth with a +1 score.
UBC’s Kamyar Yamini and Christopher Horton each carded eagles on the opening day to help the Thunderbirds sit second to the Vikes with a team score of 295. The Top-4 Thunderbirds were all within five strokes of each other.
“UBC have good depth so if their No .5 guy is shooting around even-par there is no reason they can’t bounce back tomorrow and if their one and two guys better there rounds,” added Clews about their rivals UBC. “They are very comparable to our team but the guys that shoot the bigger numbers, like their one or two players, in the first round they will come back and make a statement.”
This week’s event serves dual purpose as both the Canada West qualifier for the 2018 Canadian University/College National Championship, hosted this spring by Fraser Valley, while the event is also an NAIA-sanctioned tournament. UBC, Manitoba, Alberta, Lethbridge, Calgary and Victoria are all in the running for the Canada West qualification but only the Top 5 teams will qualify.
“The team needs to play aggressive and not conservative tomorrow,” added Clews about transitioning to the final round. “They need to play smart on the greens and putt well and the scores will speak for themselves. I like where everyone’s game is at for ball striking but it’s just going to be about managing the contours of the greens here.”
Golfers will tee-off again tomorrow at 8:15 a.m. on Oct. 17, for their second and final round at Cordova Bay Golf Course, which has been in prime condition for the two-day tournament.
“They run a class-act event here,” noted Clews about Cordova Bay Golf Course, long-time hosts of the Vikes Golf Shootout. “They are always very accommodating. The course is always in really good shape and this is the best conditions I have seen in recent years in terms of just firmness of the turf – fairways and greens. Cordova Bay really make the players and coaches feel welcome and I know they enjoy hosting this event.”
*competing as an individual
Tournament Notes: For the men and women the Vikes Golf Shootout serves as two events in one (1) Canada West Qualifier for the Canadian University/College Championships where 5 men and 3 women’s teams qualify and (2) The Vikes Golf Shootout as per NAIA specifications.