The University of Victoria Vikes men’s golf team improved by eight strokes from their round the day before but still slid two more spots down the leaderboard at the NAIA National Championship in Silvis, Ill. on March 17.
“The guys played a bit better today compared to yesterday but we still didn’t execute a lot of shots out there, and unfortunately weren’t able to climb the leaderboard,” said Vikes head coach Justin Clews.
The Vikes round of 294, while a marked improvement on the 302 that they shot on Wednesday, wasn’t good enough to keep pace with a talented field on the TPC Deere Run course. With a three-round total of 885, the Vikes sit in 16th, well back of a spot in the top-five, which is occupied by Oklahoma City (848), Dalton State (856), Coastal Georgia (856), Keiser University (859) and Texas Wesleyan (860).
There is still plenty for the Vikes to play on the final day of the tournament, however. Canadian bragging rights will be up for grabs as the Vikes are just one position and two shots ahead of their Lower Mainland rivals, the UBC Thunderbirds. UBC was the final team to make the cut for the action tomorrow after the field was trimmed from 29 teams to 17 upon the completion of today’s round.
The opportunity also exists for the Vikes to vault up in the teams standings as five teams are within their striking distance, including Cardinal Stritch University (882) in 12th place.
Individually, Lawren Rowe put in another solid round on the day, shooting an even-par 71. Rowe is in a tie for 28th overall but is just two strokes back of a spot in the top-20.
Mike Griffin also shot par, going minus-one on the extremely difficult back-nine of the course to do so. Griffin’s three-round total of 219 is good enough for 39th place.
Right behind Rowe and Griffin was Josh Miller. The second-year golfer from Victoria was just one-over par on the day and sits in a tie for 73rd.
“Lawren, Mike, and Josh played steady today, all shooting respectable rounds,” said Clews. “We will need a total team effort tomorrow in order to post a strong team score.”
As added motivation for the Vikes tomorrow, a trio of talented seniors in Rowe, Griffin and Tomie will all be playing the final round of their NAIA careers.
“I’m looking for big rounds by Lawren, Mike, and Bruce tomorrow to cap off their NAIA careers,” said Clews. “It would be great to see them all post a low number to finish off the week.”
The Vikes will get their final round of play at the Championship underway tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m. PDT. Live-scoring of the final round can be found at golfstat.com
16th – VICTORIA (289-302-294: 885)
T28 – Lawren Rowe (70-76-71: 217)
T39 – Mike Griffin (75-73-71: 219)
T73 – Josh Miller (75-76-72: 223)
T91 – Jacob Hayes (69-77-81: 227)
T132 – Bruce Tomie (81-78-80: 239)