Kelowna, BC – Not since 2008 has the eighth hole of the Bear Course at the Okanagan Golf Club – a par 4 – been aced, but third year UBC Okanagan golfer Oliver Rizun did the trick on Saturday after draining it from 251 yards with a 4 iron.
Rizun would finish the day with a team-best 67 to lead the Heat men's team to the tournament win over the two-day event, the first PACWEST tournament of the year after a two day score for the team of 572 (-4).
Rizun teamed up with fifth year golfer and 2016 All-Canadian, James Casorso, to form a strong one-two punch for UBCO. Rizun would finish third finishing with rounds of 67 and 74 (-3 total / 141). Casorso finished second individually after firing rounds of 72 and 68 (-4 total / 140).
Record setting day
As exciting as the Squamish golfer's hole-in-one was it was Langara's Jacob Vanderpas who took the tournament. Vanderpas on Sunday, playing in Rizun's grouping, played the front nine in an astonishing 27 shots (-9). Vanderpas used a hot putter to birdie seven straight holes beginning on the second hole and then chipped in for eagle on the par-5th ninth. After two more birdies on the 11th and 13th hole Vanderpas had the magic number of 59 in his sites. His best chance was on the 17th hole when he hit his approach within seven feet but his putt just slid by the left edge. Needing to eagle the last hole, Vanderpas just missed the green short and would settle for par and an amazing score of 61 (11 under). This marks the lowest score in PACWEST golf history dating back to the inaugural season in 1990.
Men's team competition
The Heat men had the lead after day one thanks to a team score of 284 (-4). The University of the Fraser Valley was eight shots back with a score of 292 and Camosun was sitting in third at 302. The second day their was little movement in the leaderboard as the Heat played solid throughout the five man lineup including a 68 by Casorso and were even par as a team on day two. UFV would gain one shot on the Heat the second day but the lead was too much to overcome.
Women finish second
The Heat women's team finished second out of three teams with a two day total of 347. Second year Management student Mckenna Lesuik led the way for the Heat with rounds of 86 and 85 while fourth year Human Kinetics student Emily Adams fired rounds of 95 and 81 for a two day total of 176. The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades women's squad won the women's division with a team score of 319 for two days. The individual women's title went to UFV's Emery Bardock who finished with a score of 155 (+11)
Rookies make an impact
Three rookies were making their first start for the Heat; Ryley Johnson played as an individual and fired rounds of 77 and 70 for a two day total of 147 (+3), Kelowna product Nik Federko was just one shot back with a two day total of 148 and Dylan Johnstone finished his first Heat tournament with a score of 150 (+6).
Coach Cass Hritzuk was very pleased with the team's opening weekend: "I was very proud of every member of the team for the first event of the season. Our veterans didn't dissapoint and led by example which paved the way for our rookies to follow suit and allow the overall team score to be deep enough for the victory"
The second tournament of the PACWEST season goes next weekend September 23rd and 24th at Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville, BC.