Cascades Claim First Canadian University/College Championship
Daniel Campbell Of The University Of The Fraser Valley Has Helped Put The Cascades Golf Program On The Map After Leading His Team To The Canadian University/College Championship Men's Title at Chilliwack Golf Club - Image Credit Bryan Outram/BC Golf
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
CHILLIWACK -- Respect has been hard to come by for the University of the Fraser Valley’s men’s golf team, which has played in the shadows of more established programs at the University of B.C., the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University.
That should no longer be a problem. The title Canadian University champions changes everything for the Cascades and their hard-working coach, Chris Bertram. “This is the biggest win we’ve ever had and probably one of the biggest team victories we have had as a university since we got involved a few years ago,” Bertram said after his UFV men’s team won the Canadian University/College Championship at Chilliwack Golf Club in convincing fashion.
“I think it puts our program on the map, that’s for sure. For us as a golf team, I am just so proud of the players. This is something we have fought really hard for the last 15 years, to build a program that could do this and it feels pretty good to get it done.”
The five guys who got it done included Daniel Campbell, Zach Olson, Halen Davis, Kyle Claggett and Connor O’Dell. They combined for a team score of 26-under par over the 72-hole, 20-team competition and beat their closest competitors, the University of Victoria, by 17 shots.
The Cascades entered this tournament never having finished better than fourth. They had high expectations, given that Chilliwack Golf Club is their home course. They made the most of that home-course advantage, seizing control of the tournament on the first day and never looking back.
Campbell, a Bellingham native who transferred from Skagit Valley College in Washington state, led the way. He claimed the individual title with a score of 11-under par, which was four shots better than Wyatt Brook of Vancouver Island University and Baptiste Moray of Laval University.
“This means a lot,” Campbell said. “That is always the goal, to win team championships, and we did that this year. It shows we can compete with the best schools in Canada and hopefully it will help entice the younger players in Canada and maybe even international players to come play for us.”
As each of his five players finished their rounds Friday, Bertram met them as they were walking up the 18th fairway and accompanied them to the green. “I just wanted them to take a minute and just absorb it while it was happening because they are fighting out there,” Bertram said. “It will go by and they won’t even realize what has happened, so I tried to give them a moment to relax and let them try to enjoy it while they walked in to finish up.”
This week’s result should silence any doubters of the UFV golf program (the Cascades women finished third this week for their first podium finish). Bertram joked that his team will no longer be able to play the role of underdog. “Even this week, you’d heard chatter around the putting green, like how did these guys even get in the tournament and are these scores right?” he said.
“It is really nice. We have always been able to play off that little bit of a grudge. We wanted to prove something. Now we have climbed up there and so now the goal is to maintain it. We have a good group of players coming back and there is certainly no reason why we can’t do that.”
UFV athletic director Steve Tuckwood said Bertram deserves considerable credit for building the Cacades golf program from scratch. “We are a much smaller institution than most of the schools that win things like this,” Tuckwood said. “I think this shows that smaller programs can compete. It is about the hustle of the coach and some of the resources he has been able to find to help us and it is convincing kids that they can consider Fraser Valley athletically and academically and they are not giving much back on the golf side. This allows us to feel like we have arrived.”
Friday’s win completes a nice set of bookends for the Cascades, who last fall won the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s golf championship in Ontario. “After our win in the fall we knew we could win this one,” said Claggett, a 6-foot-8 freshman from Mission. “We knew coming into this we had five guys who were going to play really well this week.”
TOP-5 MEN’S TEAMS
1. University of the Fraser Valley Cascades (-26, 278-277-284-287 – 1126)
2. University of Victoria Vikes (-9, 295-278-284 – 1143)
3. University of Manitoba Bisons(E, 298-284-288-282 – 1152)
T4. University of Ottawa Gee-Gees (+5, 297-289-284-287 – 1157)
T4. Humber College Hawks (+5, 298-285-281-293 – 1157)
TOP-5 WOMEN’S TEAMS
1. University of British Columbia Thunderbirds (+19, 221-224-219-219 – 883)
2. University of Victoria Vikes (+53, 226-232-226-233 – 917)
3. University of the Fraser Valley Cascades(+58, 236-223-239-224 – 922)
4. Université de Montréal Carabins (+62, 223-230-237-236 – 926)
5. University of Toronto Varsity Blues (+65, 234-232-228-235 – 929)
TOP-3 MEN’S INDIVIDUAL
1. Daniel Campbell, University of the Fraser Valley Cascades (-11, 69-69-68-71 – 277)
T2. Wyatt Brook, Vancouver Island University Mariners (-7, 68-72-73-68 – 281)
T2. Baptiste Mory, Université Laval Rouge et Or (-7, 70-69-73-69 – 281)
TOP-3 WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL
1. Avril Li, University of British Columbia Thunderbirds (-4, 72-71-69-72 – 284)
2. Sarah Dunning, University of Guelph Gryphons (+3, 73-77-67-74 – 291)
3. Ana Peric, University of Toronto Varsity Blues (+7, 75-73-73-74 – 295)
Click HERE for complete scoring
CHIP SHOTS: The University of Manitoba shot the day’s best team score, 6-under, and placed third at even-par. The University of Ottawa and Humber College rounded out of the top five. UBC finished sixth. . .Next year’s tournament will be held in Montreal.