Cascades Continue To Roll At Canadian University/College Championship

The University Of The Fraser Valley, Led By Zach Olson, Leads The Men’s Division By 12 Shots At The Halfway Point Of The 2018 Canadian University/College Championships At Chilliwack GC - Image Courtesy Dan Kinvig (UFV)

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

CHILLIWACK -- The University of the Fraser Valley men’s golf team does not look like it is going to come back to the rest of the field at the Canadian University/College Championship at Chilliwack Golf Club.

Someone is going to have to catch the Cascades and it doesn’t figure to be easy. The Cascades went deep Wednesday for the second straight day, posting a second-round score of 11-under par to finish 36 holes at 21-under par. They lead second-place University of B.C. by 12 shots. The Cascades, who have never finished better than fourth at this event, are halfway to history.

“Two down and two to go,” said UFV coach Chris Bertram. “We are halfway. There's a lot of golf left to play and our guys know how to play this golf course and have seen it in every possible condition. I have no doubt that we are going to be ready to go tomorrow and keep the momentum going.”

The Cascades have been led thus far by Zach Olson, who is listed as their No. 5 player. That speaks to the depth of the program. Olson leads the individual race through two rounds at seven-under par. He fired a three-under 69 Wednesday.

Olson and his teammates are trying to not get ahead of themselves, but they clearly realize what a win would mean for their school and the golf program. “It would be huge for the program,” said Olson, a fourth-year business major from Strathmore, Alta. “We have been close to medalling at this event, so if we can keep it going and get that win it would be pretty big.”

The Cascades figured they had an advantage this week. Chilliwack is the team’s home course, so the players know it inside-out. So far, they seem to be making the most of that advantage. UFV is also getting a big contribution from its two ‘imports.’ While the field at this event is largely made up of Canadian players who decided to remain at home to play their collegiate golf, the Cascades have two players -- Daniel Campbell and Halen Davis -- who came north from Washington state. Both transferred to UFV after two years at Skagit Valley College.

Campbell, who is the Cascades No. 1 player, fired his second straight 69 Wednesday and is second overall at six-under. He’ll take that score considering how he started his round Wednesday. “I had a rough start,” Campbell said.

“I was three-over after two holes. But I made three birdies in a row right after that, so that was a nice bounce-back to get things back on track. We are pretty excited as a team,” added the Bellingham native. “We got off to a good start yesterday and kept it going today. We just have to keep playing well, keep playing smart golf and try not to make too many mistakes.”

Davis also shot a 69 Wednesday and is tied for third at five-under par. Davis hails from the Everett area and was named after the rock group Van Halen. “My dad is a rock-and-roller,” Davis said with a smile. He said his decision to transfer to UFV has been a great one and he’d love to finish this week off in style with a team win that he said would mean so much to the program. “It would be huge,” Davis said.

“It would be a whole new level for UFV golf, allow us to bring in new players from all over and maybe provide opportunities to go down and potentially play in some (NCAA) Div 1 and Div 2 tournaments. The doors would just open up wide if we are able to finish this off and win this championship.”

Kyle Claggett, a first-year player from Mission, shot a two-under 70 for the Cascades on Wednesday, while Connor O’Dell of Maple Ridge fired a one-over 73. The top four of each team’s five individual scores count each day toward the team’s score on the men’s side.

UBC continues to lead the women’s division. Paced by Avril Li’s one-under 71, the Thunderbirds recorded a team score of eight-over par Wednesday and sit at 13-over through two rounds. That left UBC eight shots in front of second-place University of Montreal. The University of Victoria is third at 26-over.

Li leads the individual race at one-under par through 36 holes. She is four shots in front of Sarah Dunning of the University of Guelph.

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UBC had the best team score of the day on the men’s side, shooting 14-under to sit at nine-under through two rounds. The Thunderbirds, who have won this event five times, were led by Andrew Harrison’s five-under 67.
CHIP SHOTS: Lawren Rowe of the University of Victoria had the day’s low round, a seven-under 65. . .The field will be cut to the top 10 men’s teams and top six women’s teams after Thursday’s third round. Individuals within 15 shots of the lead will also play Friday’s final round.