The Canadian men’s golf squad, featuring Pauls and helmed by his longtime coach at the University of the Fraser Valley, Chris Bertram, battled their way to sixth place – the best-ever finish for the Canadian men at the Universiade.
Dylan Cave of the University of Waterloo (two-under 70) and Russell Bowie of Queen’s University (72) authored the scoring rounds for Canada on Saturday, while Pauls carded a 75. The Cascades star tied for 34th in the individual standings at +14 for the week (74-78-75-75=302).
Canada’s four-round total of 574 left them 20 strokes back of the gold medal-winning Japanese squad. France (557) took silver, while the host Republic of Korea (561) secured bronze.
“This is an event that hosts the future stars of the game,” said Bertram, noting that 2011 Universiade individual champ Hideki Matsuyama has gone on to win on the PGA Tour and currently sits No. 14 in the world golf rankings.
“To see our Canadian golfers compete successfully at this level is remarkable. It says a lot about the commitment of the golf programs across the country who struggle for dollars and against the recruiting power of the NCAA. We should all celebrate this success and continue to grow and provide opportunities for athletes to stay and play right here in Canada.”
Pauls, who finished his kinesiology degree at UFV in December and earned CCAA Academic All-Canadian honours along the way, helped shape the Cascades golf program into a powerhouse. He led the men’s team to four PacWest titles and four podium finishes at CCAA nationals, including a gold medal in 2013.
Last summer Pauls became the first UFV athlete to represent Canada at a FISU event – he helped the men’s team to its best-ever finish, fifth, at the World University Golf Championships in Switzerland. He earned his second international assignment at the 2015 Universiade.
“Aaron has left an unprecedented legacy at UFV,” Bertram said. “It’s been a great privilege to be a part of his journey and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.”