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UFV Golf – T-Birds take men’s, women’s team titles at Cascades Invitational

Chilliwack (Dan Kinvig) – The UBC Thunderbirds emerged victorious at the UFV Cascades’ home tournament, claiming the men’s and women’s team titles at the Cascades Invitational, held Monday and Tuesday at Chilliwack Golf Club.

The host Cascades finished second in the men’s team competition, and third on the women’s side.

MGOLF: UBC finishes strong to edge Cascades

The Cascades men’s team built a slender lead after Monday’s opening round, with a combined score of nine under par leaving them just ahead of UBC’s -8.

On Tuesday, the T-Birds did themselves one better, combining for a team score of -9 to get to -17 for the tournament. The Cascades were under par once again on their home course, but their Round 2 score of -4 left them at -13, four strokes back.

UVic (+11) took third place, while UBC Okanagan (+17) was fourth.

“It was a decent day for us,” Cascades head coach Aaron Pauls analyzed. “We didn’t have our A game today, but we did a great job battling. At the end of the day, a score of -4 should put you in pretty good position.

“We just got beat today. UBC put up a really solid round of golf.”

Individually, UFV’s Eli Greene and UBC’s Russell Howlett were tied for first after Monday’s round, firing matching five-under 67s. They played together in the final group on Tuesday, with Howlett shooting -3 to get to -8 for the tourney, one stroke better than Greene (-7).

Reigning Canada West men’s golf athlete of the week Jackson Jacob (-5) tied for third with UBC’s Ethan Degraaf, UFV rookie Hudson LaFayette (-2) finished in a four-way tie for sixth, and Jacob Armstrong (+2) and Jacob Lucki (+3) rounded out UFV’s five-player roster that contributed to the team score. Ben Whiton, competing as an individual, shot back-to-back even-par rounds.

“Eli has been a beast for us so far this year,” Pauls enthused of Greene, a Nanaimo, B.C. product who joined the program during the COVID-marred 2020-21 season and is technically still in his first year of eligibility.

“We had a few qualifying rounds at the start of the year, and he was tearing it up at Chilliwack Golf Club. He had a tough second day at Alberta’s tournament, but he came right back here and put some great scores up. That goes a long way for our squad.

“Eli was near the lead all day, and he was really comfortable with that, and it’s not easy to play in that scenario.”

WGOLF: Park paces Cascades to third-place finish

The Thunderbirds ran away with the women’s event – their two-day score of -2 was 22 strokes better than UBC Okanagan (+20), with UFV (+22) and UVic (+27) also in the chase pack.

The individual champ was Sukriti Harjai of UVic, who fired back-to-back rounds of three-under 69 to finish at -6, three strokes better than UBC’s Una Chou. Sonja Tang of the T-Birds was third at -2.

The top Cascade was Lucy Park, who carded a 75 on Monday and a 74 on Tuesday to settle at +5, good for ninth overall. Emery Bardock (+7) was 10th, Alex Brunner (+11) tied for 16th, and rookies Coral Hamade (+14) and Ella Gifford (+26) rounded out the five-player team roster. UFV’s Avery Biggar, competing individually, was at +24.

“I know everyone’s going to think back on one or two shots they’d like to have back, but there were a lot of really good parts to the rounds this week,” Cascades head coach Cody Stewart noted. “We just couldn’t quite close it out. We had some young players who were playing exceptionally well in spots they haven’t been in before, and it’s going to be a learning experience, right? We’re going to learn from it, and we’re going to keep building on it. There’s a ton of potential on this team.”

“UBC played some incredible golf over the last couple days, but from two to four in B.C., it’s very tight. Every bit of competition they get is helping them grow and develop their games even more.”

UP NEXT

The Cascades golf teams are off to Calgary next week for the Dinos Invitational, running Sunday and Monday (Sept. 26-27) at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club. It’s the final tune-up prior to the Canada West championships, Oct. 4-5 at Squamish Valley Golf Club.

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