The University of Victoria Vikes men’s golf team got the second half of their 2017-18 NAIA schedule off on the right foot by stringing together consistent performances for a third-place finish at the Arizona Christian University Spring Invitational in Phoenix, AZ on Feb. 12-13.
The Vikes, ranked No. 6 in the latest NAIA Coaches Poll, shot 872 as a team over the three rounds of action, four strokes back of the No. 12 ranked UBC Thunderbirds. Both Canadian squads trailed the No. 4 ranked, and tournament winning team from Johnson & Wales (FL), who showed their high ranking was well deserved by finishing the tournament with a team score of 863.
“The three top-ranked teams played away from the rest of the field and showed they deserve their high ranking,” said Vikes assistant coach Bryan Carberry.
Lawren Rowe was the top individual finisher for the Vikes, shooting a two-under par score of 214. The fourth-year athlete from Victoria, B.C. finished in a tie for fourth-place in Phoenix.
Josh Miller finished just three shots back of Rowe, stringing together scores of 70, 76 and 71 to secure a tie for eighth-place.
Jake Hamilton rounded out the scoring, the third-year Vike put together rounds of 81, 76 and 80.
Overall the team showed little signs of rust, despite this being their first competitive tournament since Oct. 17. They started the tournament with their strongest round of all, but ultimately consistency was the key in rounds of 289, 291 and 292 as a team.
“The guys hit it really solid but suffered on the greens as our greens back home are nowhere near as quick and it takes a bit of time to get used to the quickness,” said Carberry.
The Vikes round out their tournament schedule with trips to Primm, NV for the Grand View University Invitational from Mar. 19-20 and Indio, CA for Desert Intercollegiate from Mar. 26-27.
3rd – VICTORIA (289-291-292 : 872)
T4 – Lawren Rowe (73-70-71 : 214) -2
T8 – Josh Miller (70-76-71 : 217) +1
T14 – Mike Griffin (72-72-76 : 220) +4
T17 – Bruce Tomie (74-73-74 : 221) +5
T63 – Jake Hamilton (81-76-80 : 237) +21