For their first tournament of the season it was about as ideal as it could get for the University of Victoria Vikes men’s golf team who finished runners-up in the team and individual standings at the Saint Martin’s Invitational, hosted Sept. 22-23 in Olympia, Wash. The Vikes shot a team score of 861 to finish second behind Western Washington by five strokes. Fourth-year Vike Lawren Rowe was second overall with a three-round score of 3-under par, 210.
“I was really happy with our first tournament,” said Justin Clews, Vikes golf head coach. “We were the top Canadian team and top NAIA team here.”
The Vikes and UBC Thunderbirds were the only two participating NAIA teams and the T-Birds finished fifth overall despite Andrew Harrison taking the individual title with a 9-under par, 204.
“We shot an even team score of 284 today but obviously leap frogging from third place to second place today was great,” said Clews about the team’s lowest round falling on Sunday. “We gained four shots on the leading team and were tied for the lowest team score today.”
The Vikes had three finish in the top-15 including Rowe in second, Mike Griffin tied for 10th (3-over par, 216) and second year Josh Miller tied for 15th (4-over par, 217). Jacob Hayes carded a 6-over par, 219 and Bruce Tomie shot 15-over par, 228.
“Tournament wise for the three days Lawren was steady as usual,” said Clews of the team’s leader. “His round today was pretty flawless but Bruce really pulled it out for us today, too. He shot 3-over but it was three over on one hole taking a triple on a par 3 but he recovered well and brought in a counting score that mattered for us so that was a highlight.”
“I was also really proud of Jacob’s round yesterday. He shot 29 for nine holes, that’s 6-under, and for most tournaments that doesn’t happen often so that was a real highlight. Josh and Mike were also steady all week, particularly in our last round, as they shot even.”
The Vikes faced no weather challenges but the Olympia Country and Golf Club course presented tough greens that were both small and sloped.
“Putting would definitely be the area we need to work on and sharpen up,” said Clews in the lead up to their next tournament in two days at Western Washington. “Bellingham course greens are a bit more predictable. They are bigger and the course is longer.”
The Vikes were on the move immediately after their final round in Olympia. The team heads to Bellingham, Wash. to play in the Western Washington invitational, also a three-round format. Clews had the opportunity to change up his roster if needed but was pleased with this week’s performance and has elected to keep the roster the same – Rowe, Griffin, Miller, Hayes and Tomie.
“I like the depth that we have on our team,” added Clews. “Our bad score is a 75 so we aren’t having to worry about high 70’s anymore. That really puts us in the hunt to win tournaments.”
The Vikes will play on the road in Bellingham, Sept. 25-26, and again in Salem, Ore. On Oct. 8-10 at the Coastal Collegiate Classic. The annual Vikes Golf Shootout will take place Oct. 16-17 at Cordova Bay Golf Course
2nd – VICTORIA (290-287-284 : 861)
2 – Lawren Rowe (70-72-68 : 210) -3
T10 – Mike Griffin (72-73-71 : 216) +3
T15 – Josh Miller (73-73-71 : 217) +4
T22 – Jacob Hayes (75-69-75 : 219) +6
T50 – Bruce Tomie (75-79-74 : 228) +15