Sherwood Park. Alb (Dan Kinvig) – The University of the Fraser Valley men’s golf team opened its 2021 campaign in familiar fashion, winning the Alberta Bears and Pandas Invitational at Northern Bear Golf Course in Sherwood Park, Alta.
Jackson Jacob led the charge for the Cascades, firing rounds of 69 on Sunday and 72 on Monday to finish at three under par. That was good for top spot in the individual standings, four strokes ahead of runner-up Cole Peters of the Manitoba Bisons.
As a team, the Cascades’ two-day score was +19, giving them the victory ahead of Manitoba (+21) and the UBC Okanagan Heat (+22).
“It was really close for a couple hours on the back nine,” UFV head coach Aaron Pauls noted following Monday’s round.
“I don’t think we played our best by any means, but at the end of the day we got the win. How we won was really important – knowing we were in the lead or tied down the stretch. Winning in that fashion will be huge for us as we approach our bigger events of the season.”
The Cascades led by two after Sunday’s opening round, with a combined score of +4 just ahead of UBCO’s +6. But on Monday, Manitoba – which had begun the day tied for fifth, 15 strokes back of UFV – made a huge charge, posting a team score of +2 to overhaul the Heat for second place and make the Cascades sweat down the stretch. Jacob, playing in the final group, slammed the door by draining a long birdie putt on the 18th.
“Jackson’s been working hard on the way he approaches the game – not just trying to hit the ball as far as he can, but trying to adapt a more strategic way to move around the golf course,” Pauls explained. “He did a phenomenal job of that over the last few days. I think he’d be one of the very few guys who didn’t have a double-bogey or worse on his card.”
Rookie Hudson Lafayette was the Cascades’ second-best individual finisher, despite the fact he was not on the five-player roster that contributes to the team score. He shot 73 and 74 to tie for fourth.
Jacob Armstrong and Eli Greene tied for 10th at +7, Jacob Lucki (+9) was T-17th, and Ben Whiton (+16) was T-28th.
“There’s a lot of parity among teams in Canada West, and I think it’s going to lead to a really fun, competitive Canada West championships in a few weeks,” Pauls said.
Up next for the Cascades men’s golfers is their home tournament, the Cascades Invitational, which runs Sept. 20-21 at Chilliwack Golf Club. The UFV women’s golf team will also be participating in that event, which represents their 2021 season debut.