Komoka, Ontario/Abbotsford – One year ago, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s golf team celebrated arguably the most impressive accomplishment in program history.
On Tuesday, the Cascades seek to write the script for a sequel. The Cascades tee off at 2 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific).
Head coach Chris Bertram’s charges are in Komoka, Ont. for the Canadian University/College Championship, aiming to defend the title they earned on their home course, Chilliwack Golf Club, last year.
FireRock Golf Club is the host site for the four-round tourney, which runs Tuesday through Friday with a cut to 10 teams following Thursday’s third round. The Cascades are among 20 men’s teams from across Canada vying for national supremacy.
While the Cascades are in unfamiliar territory at the Golf Canada event as the defending champs, Bertram said he doesn’t expect any perceived pressure to change his team’s approach.
“It was nice to win last year, and we certainly spent time celebrating, but we didn’t take long before getting back into it,” he said. “It doesn’t change a lot (being the reigning champs). We’ve prepared for this tournament just like we do any other tournament.”
The Cascades will be among the favourites once again, and the quality of the squad was apparent in the sheer difficulty Bertram had in deciding his five-man roster for the championship. After six rounds of qualifying, the five who were selected include reigning Canadian University/College individual champ Daniel Campbell, fifth-year team captain Zach Olson, sophomore standouts Kyle Claggett and Ben Whiton, and VIU Mariners transfer Wyatt Brook.
“On paper, our odds of contending are very high,” Bertram noted. “The team we’re taking this year is every bit as good as the team we won with last year, and you could even make the case that we’re a bit stronger with the addition of Wyatt Brook. I also feel good about the prep work we’ve been doing the past couple of months. Everybody’s feeling confident going into the championship.”