The University of British Columbia

Another first for Heat golfers as they tee up for a national championship

Samantha Copeland stares down her drive in the rain. (Dan Kinvig Photo)
Samantha Copeland stares down her drive in the rain. (Dan Kinvig Photo)

Continuing to grow as a premier university golf program, the UBCO women's golf team will compete in Canada's most prestigious post-secondary golf championship.

For the first time in program history, the Heat will be in the field at the Golf Canada University and College Championship. This year's edition runs from May 28 to 31 at the Firerock Golf Club in Komoka, Ontario.

The national championship is a showcase of the finest university and college golf programs in Canada and allows the qualifying teams to compete for a national championship, as well as acting as the Canadian team qualifier for the World University Golf Championship.

UBCO, the reigning CCAA national bronze medalists, will compete with the same lineup of three golfers who earned the national medal at Desert Blume last October in Medicine Hat. The trio, led by the low scores of the rookie duo of Samantha Copeland and Rebecca Reitsma, is complimented on the course by the senior leadership and steady play of McKenna Lesiuk.

Rookie Copeland has been nothing short of brilliant in her first season of university golf with two individual wins and finishing the year with the low total score in the conference. The stellar play of the Calgary golfer earned her numerous awards on the year.

Some of her accolades include the UBC Okanagan Female Rookie of the Year, a CCAA Academic All-Canadian, and the PACWEST Provincial Player of the Year.

With an already full trophy chest, Copeland is excited for the chance to play in such a challenging tournament this spring where only the best university teams qualify to compete.

"There will be a lot more competition at this tournament than we have had played in the past," says Copeland. "We will be matched up against some of the top teams in Canada. Most of those teams, like defending champ UBC and UVic, have been playing in tournaments these last couple of months. Our team hasn't played in a tournament since October and that lack of recent competition will likely be the most challenging part for our team as we are not as tournament ready."

The 72-hole tournament will consist of both a team and an individual championship, with three scores counting towards the team total. The four-round event will see the field cut after the first three rounds of play to the low six female teams or any team within 15 shots of the lead. Teams and individuals within 15 shots of the lead will also make the cut. 

A CCAA All-Canadian award winner with teammate Copeland, Rebecca Reitsma, and third-year Lesiuk, both from Kelowna, have been training with newly announced Heat coach Clay Stothers to prepare for the event.

Copeland has been back in Calgary playing at her home course and can't wait to compete with her team again.

"I'm sure this tournament will challenge our team and make us better for the years to come," says an excited Copeland.

The day-one tee-times on Tuesday (May 28) for the Heat threesome are Rebecca Reitsma 8:20 a.m. (EST), McKenna Lesiuk 8:30 a.m. (EST), and Samantha Copeland 8:40 a.m. (EST).

| Team Leaderboard | Individual Leaderboard | Copeland Scorecard | Lesiuk Scorecard | Reitsma Scorecard |

Note: Jen Woods competed at this same championship event while golfing for the UBCO Heat in 2013. She played as an individual. This will be the first time a UBCO team will compete in the biggest tournament of the college and university season.

UBCO Heat women's golf team. (L to R) McKenna Lesiuk, Samantha Copeland, Rebecca Reitsma. UBCO Heat women's golf team. (L to R) McKenna Lesiuk, Samantha Copeland, Rebecca Reitsma.

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