By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s golf team will finally get to put their last two months of hard training to work as they will get their first competition of the new year at the Master’s College Spring Invitational, hosted at Robinson Ranch Golf Course in Santa Clarita, Calif. on Mar. 2-3. Five Vikes will travel to play three rounds over two days in hopes of continuing to build on their current No. 9 ranking in the NAIA.

Travelling Vikes include the rookie trio of Lawren Rowe, Mike Griffin and Andrew Funk, while third years Alex Cartwright and Matthew Broughton will also be competing.

“We haven’t played since November but we have spent a lot of time training and practicing since the December break and we have had really good structure in those practices,” said Justin Clews, Vikes men’s golf head coach who will be travelling with the team to California. “We have tried to create scenarios the team may face in a tournament, so we have done a lot more preparation at this point of the year than we did last year.”

Last fall the Vikes were led by rookie Rowe who finished third overall at the Wolfpack Invitational in Pueblo, Col., while the Vikes finished second in the team standings. At the Saint Martin’s Invitational, the team finished sixth overall while Rowe was again the top Vike tied for seventh. The Vikes finished third at the Cavalier Classic with Broughton finishing fourth overall and at the Victoria-hosted Vikes Golf Shootout, the Vikes men finished second and Funk took top honours with a one-over par score at Cordova Bay Golf Course.

“Going forward from last fall our three first years Lawren, Andrew and Mike are starting to develop themselves as our top players in terms of consistency and so I have high expectations for them this weekend,” added Clews.

The Vikes are the only Canadian team competing in next week’s Master’s College Invitational, while powerhouse San Marcos will not be competing this year. Other NAIA Top-15 teams, including Oklahoma Baptist, are expected to be competing, giving the Vikes a good chance to grab more points to improve their ranking.

“We played this course last year and were tied for second going into the final round,” mentioned Clews. “Two of our guys have played here before so they are more or less familiar with the course but the weather is forecasting rain all week which will make it challenging for all the teams.”

The Vikes men are set to hit the course Sunday afternoon for their practice rounds, while competition begins on Mar. 2 with 18 holes in the morning and 18 in the afternoon. The final round will take place on Mar. 3.

Travelling Roster:

Lawren Rowe
Mike Griffin
Andrew Funk
Alex Cartwright
Matthew Broughton
Justin Clews (Head Coach)