T-Birds win Western Washington Invitational in record-setting fashion

WWU Invitational Golf Champions 2014

VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds men’s golf team rewrote the program’s history books today en route to repeating as champions at the 43rd Annual Western Washington University Invitational Men’s Golf Tournament in Bellingham, Wash. The event was staged at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club, which played at par-72, 6,561 yards.


With a result of 35-under par 829, UBC established a new school record for a 54-hole team score. Evan Holmes now owns the Thunderbirds’ mark for best individual three-round score while Banff, Alta., native Jack Wood tied the UBC standard for lowest round. The Thunderbirds also shattered the previous WWU Invitational tournament best of 18-under established by the hosts in 2001.

UBC had the top three finishers in medalist play, led by Holmes, of Calgary, at 14-under 202 after finishing with a 4-under 68 on Tuesday. It is his second consecutive tournament victory, with his first coming three days ago at the St. Martin’s Invitational in Olympia, Wash. His 202 is two shots better than the previous program best, which was jointly held by Blake Rowe-Sleeman at the 2008 NAIA Region 1 Championship and Cory Renfrew at the 2009 Association of Independent Institutions conference championship.

“I’m really pleased for Evan, he had a tough spring last year but he worked hard over the summer and has come back to campus with the attitude that he can compete with anyone and it shows with the individual wins at St. Martin’s and Western Washington,” said UBC head coach Chris MacDonald.

Wood, who fired a tourney-best 8-under 64 today, moved up 13 places to tie for second at 9-under 207 with teammate Conner Kozak of Vernon, B.C., (72) and Cal State Stanislaus’s Michael Mencassy (71). Wood’s 64 is the lowest score ever recorded by a UBC golfer. Rowe-Sleeman accomplished this feat twice in 2008. 

“Conner set the bar high with his 65 to start the WWU event, it’s motivating to all the players to see their captain play like that and he inspired the guys to an historic event,” said MacDonald. “In the five-count-four score format in college golf, if your No. 3 through No. 5 players are solid the top guys can play freely and go for birdies and that’s what Jack, Conner and Evan did this week – having depth on our roster this year will be an advantage to the guys.

“New recruits Gavin McQueenie, Donald Qiu and second-year player Nate Ollis have added to the roster. Top recruit Trent Abraham‘s hand is recovering from an injury at a team community charity and will return to the lineup in two weeks.”

Calgarian Scott Secord shot an even-par 72 to finish in a tie for 13th at 2-under 214. First-year golfer Donald Qiu of Surrey, B.C., also shot 72 today and tied for 55th overall with a score of 14-over 230.

Victoria’s Nate Ollis competed in the event as an individual player, meaning his score didn’t count towards UBC’s total. He also earned a top-10 finish, tying for ninth by shooting three rounds of 1-under 71 to conclude the tournament at 213.

The Thunderbirds will have a week off before heading south again for the Concordia (Ore.) Invitational in Portland, Ore., Oct. 6-7.

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