UBC Men, Women Stage Dramatic Comebacks To Win Canadian University/College Championship
Image Credit Golf Canada
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
An emotional roller-coaster of a week ended on a high Friday for coach Chris Macdonald and his University of B.C. Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams. Both teams staged dramatic final-round comebacks to win the Canadian University/College Championships at Firerock Golf Club in Komoka, Ont.
The Thunderbird women edged Laval by just one shot in the 72-hole competition. The UBC men needed a playoff to beat Western Ontario. It was the fourth straight Canadian University Championship for the UBC women, who capped an incredible year with Friday’s win. Two weeks ago, they won the NAIA National Championship tourney in Oklahoma and with Friday’s victory they end their season with 10 wins.
“The energy was awesome all week from both teams,” Macdonald said. “I don’t think Canadian Championship has ever been this tight. We play four nationals each year and to win three of them in one year is pretty special.”
UBC was led by Coquitlam’s Shania Remandaban, who finished alone in second place in the individual competition. Her 72-hole total of 11-over par was just one shot behind individual winner Sarah Dunning of Guelph.
Avril Lee of Port Moody, Kate Johnston of Ayr, Ont., and Cecile Kwon of Maple Ridge also competed for UBC, which was playing without one of its top players, freshman Esther Lee of Brazil.
The top three scores of each team’s four-player roster counted each day in the women’s competition. UBC started the day six shots behind Laval, but made up ground with a team score of 11-over 230 on Friday. Their final team total of 51-over was one shot better than Laval. “We just had a huge tournament in Oklahoma and the girls were feeling a little tired,” Remandaban said of UBC’s slow start in the first two rounds.
“We underestimated the field, unfortunately, and that hit us like a truck. After the first day, when we weren’t in the lead, we were like 'we need to get it together'. And we didn’t get it together on the second day, but the third and fourth days we really improved, so that was the difference.”
The UBC men started the day tied for fourth, nine shots behind Western. The Thunderbirds shot a tournament-low 12-under as a team on Friday to force the playoff. Both UBC and Western finished the event at 11-under par. The men’s teams were comprised of five players, with the top four scores counting each day. Logan Carver of Calgary, Ethan de Graaf of Edmonton, Zahidali Nathu of Richmond,BC, Andrew Harrison of Camrose, Alta., and Chris Horton of Calgary competed for the Thunderbirds, who won the Canadian title for the third time in the last five years.
Harrison, playing in his last event for UBC, led the way for the Thunderbirds. He finished third in the individual competition at seven-under par and sunk the putt to clinch the playoff win for the Thunderbirds. “It was a great round of team golf,” Harrison said. “Everyone played well. It is a very nice way to go out. All the guys rallied today, so it feels pretty sweet.”
The University of Victoria had a strong tournament. The Vikes finished third in both the men’s and women’s divisions. Robin Conlan led the way for the Viking men, finishing fourth overall in the individual race at four-under par.
On the women’s side, Sukriti Harjai paced the Vikings and finished solo third at 13-over par in the individual competition.
Click HERE for complete final scoring.
CHIP SHOTS: The University of the Fraser Valley Men’s Team, which won their first national title last year, finished fourth. Wyatt Brook led the Cascades, tying for 10th in the individual competition at two-under par.