ABBOTSFORD, BC - Coming into the weekend with a three shot lead, the UBC Okanagan Heat men's golf team would fall just short of a PACWEST championship even after a stellar day two performance. The team would fire a second day total of 281 (+1) but a poor first day was too much to overcome after the final conference tournament at the Ledgeview Golf Club in Abbotsford, BC this past weekend.
After eight rounds and four separate tournaments, the Heat's total score was 2336. The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades would win the conference after a total team score of 2317 for the season. Along with the team silver medal, fifth year head coach Cass Hritzuk was named the conferences coach of the year, which was voted on by his peers.
Individually, James Casorso finished his PACWEST career with a closing round of 68 which earned him the individual bronze medal, along with his second consecutive conference all-star award. After the round Casorso was very optimistic about the teams chances next week in Oshawa, Ont. "Going to nationals [will be] fantastic for the program. After everything that has happened in the last year, I could not be more proud of this group. Although we finished second in our conference, I really believe we have a good shot at contending for a national championship."
The silver medal performance earns the men's squad a spot in the 2017 PING CCAA National Championship in Oshawa, Ontario from October 16th-20th. This marks the first time since 2009 that the men's team has qualified for nationals outside the British Columbia.
The women's squad would finish second in the UFV Invitational, their fourth consecutive second place finish. This earns them a berth in the CCAA Championship as well. For the four tournaments, Mckenna Lesiuk led the team with a total score of 674 to finish in fourth place individually. Not far behind was fourth year human kinetics student Emily Adams, who had a score of 698 for the four tournaments. The UFV Cascades would win the women's team title with a score of 1244.
After a sub-par first day for the men, the team would bounce back on the second day led by Casorso's 68, along with rookie Ryley Johnson who shot his first sub-70 round for the team. Johnson would make an astonishing five birdies on the difficult back nine at Ledgeview Golf Club to come home in 30 shots and finish the day with a 69 (-1). Rookie Nik Federko also played some stellar golf the second day firing a one over par 71. Finding his swing the second day, Federko would hit 16 greens in regulation but the putts would just not fall for the Immaculata grad. The fourth counting score the second day was third year management student Casey Sullivan. Sullivan would improve on his day one performance and would come in with a round of 73 (+3) on Sunday. After sitting in fifth place after the first day, the strong second round showing would jump the team all the way up to second place in the tournament. The UFV Cascades would win the tournament with a two-day score of 577.