By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

VICTORIA, B.C. – Victoria natives and Reynolds Secondary school graduates Matthew Broughton and Sean Hayhave committed to the University of Victoria Vikes men’s golf program for the 2012-13 season. Broughton and Hay grew up competing against each other and will now further their careers together with their first experience in collegiate-level golf.

Broughton’s interests in golf stemmed from an early age as father and current Blenkinsop driving range pro, Dale, exposed the game of golf to his son at the age of four. A multi-sport athlete, Broughton left the game of baseball at the age of 12 to pursue golf more seriously at the junior level.

“My dad has coached me since as far back as I can remember,” said Broughton. “He has always left it to be my choice if I want to practice but he is always there if I want or need his help. He always gives me rides to the course at the least.”

It wasn’t until 2009, where Broughton competed in his first BC Juvenile Championships, that competitive golf really started to become a priority. In 2010, the prospective business major finished in 46th at the Crown Isle-hosted BC Juniors and only 12 months later, Broughton capped off his third appearance climbing 30 ranks to finish in 15th.

Major titles also credited to Broughton’s resume include first place at both the Royal Colwood Junior Club Championship and the Todd Coombs Zone 5 championship, both held in 2011. Broughton also had a taste of the international level after a second-place finish at the 2011 Puma Challenge qualified him for the World Juniors, where he later missed the cut following the initial rounds.

“I am really excited to get going right away and not take a year off,” said Broughton about competing for the Vikes this coming season. “I’ve heard only good things about the school and after talking with (Bryan Carbery) it seemed like UVic was such a good fit. I like staying at home and it helps that Sean is coming too.”

Hay, a long-time team mate and friend of Broughton’s, was introduced to golf through a summer camp at the age of seven and hasn’t looked back since. At the age of eight, Hay had a golf lesson from former Vikes golfer Ben Griffin and years later, in 2010, Hay was randomly paired with Griffin in the practice round at the Vikes Shooutout, where current Vikes take the opportunity to mentor youth golfers.

Hay’s first major competition was the 2010 BC Juniors but he was also a member of the winning team for the 2011 Zone 6/Zone 5 Junior Ryder Cup. He also competed at the 2011 Canadian Juniors, hosted at Morgan Creek in Surrey, B.C., where the 17-year-old shot 76-76-75-76 to finish in 41st. Hay was also the champion at Glenn Meadows after the 2011 Optimist Junior Open and was named the Vikes Tour Order of Merit Champion after posting the top score over a seven-course series.

“Sean and Matthew add to our local flavour with the Vikes,” said Vikes golf head coach Bryan Carbery. “It helps the community keep an eye on our program when you have Victoria-based players on the team. They are both really good players with provincial experience and they will really help us become a lot more solid in our four-five spot.”

Looking towards the near future, the Reynolds pair will be looking to qualify again for the BC Juniors, BC Amateurs and ultimately, the Canadian Junior Championships, which will feature the top 25 from the BC qualification tournament. Qualification processes begin in July with the Canadian Junior Championships taking place Jul. 31 – Aug. 3, 2012.

Name: Matthew Broughton
Age: 17
High School: Reynolds Secondary
Hometown: Victoria, B.C.
Strengths: putting and accuracy off the tee
First major competition: 46th at 2009 BC Juveniles (Fort Langley, B.C.)
Favourite competition/result(s): Participation at 2011 World Juniors in Tory Pines, San Diego, CA; 1st place at 2011 Todd Coombs Zone 5 tournament

Name: Sean Hay
Age: 17
High School: Reynolds Secondary
Hometown: Victoria, B.C.
Strengths: good with putting and irons
First major competition: 2010 BC Juniors
Favourite competition/result(s): 1st place at Royal Colwood Junior Club Championship (2011), 41st at Canadian Juniors in Morgan Creek, Surrey, B.C. (2011)