Oshawa, ON - Although it was not a story book ending, the Heat men's golf team still proved to everyone that they are good enough to compete on the national stage. The men's golf team followed up their PACWEST silver medal with another silver medal at the CCAA National Championship, at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club, with a four-day team score of 1224 (+72).
Trailing by two shots to the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades going into the final round, the Heat could not make up ground on the PACWEST gold medalists. The Cascades would fire a final round of 295 (+7) in tough conditions to capture the title. The Heat's final round of 309 (+21) would be good enough to capture the silver medal ahead of the national power Humber Hawks by two shots.
After a slight format change to the men's team competition, the team championship was a 72-hole tournament for the first time in CCAA history. The Heat would be in second place after each day of the tournament, behind the UFV Cascades. A first day team score of 310 was led by rookie Nik Federko's phenomenal round of 74. The second day proved to be more generous to the team, as they shot their low round of the week with 297. Casorso fired a team-low 72 the second day while rookie Ryley Johnson from Vernon came in with his low round of the week at +2 (74). The other two players who traveled with the team were third year students Oliver Rizun and Casey Sullivan. Sullivan would finish in a tie for 23rd after a solid closing round of 75. Rizun struggled for most of the week but would help the team solidify second place thanks to a closing round of 77.
One of the most accomplished Heat golfers in history, James Casorso finished his last ever collegiate tournament with the Heat after five outstanding seasons. The former All-Canadian finished the tournament with the individual silver medal, with rounds of 77-72-71-76 (+8 total). The three-time PACWEST all-star was also named to the national all-star team following his runner-up performance. Admired by everyone on the team for his hard work and competitiveness, Casorso will be greatly missed by everyone in the Heat golf program.
On the women's side for the Heat, Emily Adams and McKenna Lesiuk combined for a weekend score of 720 (+144), finishing fifth in the national field. After a tough first two days they were unable to bounce back and make a run to the podium, despite shooting an an impressive weekend-low 169 in the final round on Friday.
Individually, Adams and Lesiuk finished just four strokes apart for the weekend. Adams put together a weekend total of 358 to finish 14th on the individual leaderboard, and Lesiuk shot 362 to finish 16th. Both had their best rounds on Friday, as Adams shot 86 and Lesiuk put together a round of 83 that included her lone birdie of the weekend.
Emily Adams was the female PING Fair Play recipient.
The Royal Ashburn Golf Club proved to be an extremely difficult test of golf for the players, as howling winds of up to 50 kilometres an hour led to a four day scoring average of over 80. Only one sub-70 round was fired in the entire field over the four days, along with only six under par rounds. The course played nearly 7,000 yards and the greens were rolling extremely quickly, at around 11 or 12 on the stimpmeter.
Birdies for Charity:
As part of the national championship, the host committee at Durham College and Conroy's No Frills in Whitby, Ontario partnered to have one pound of food donated to the Salvation Army for every birdie made throughout the tournament. The grand total for four days of birdies for both men and women was 450, meaning 450 pounds of food will be donated to the Salvation Army.