By Tyson Taylor – Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Following a press conference on Aug. 19, the University of Victoria Vikes and Morningstar Golf Course were announced as host of the 2016 Canadian University/College Championships set for May 31 to Jun. 3, 2016.
In conjunction with the University of Victoria and Golf Canada, Morningstar is getting ready to host Canada’s largest national championship tournament, with more than 160 of the finest post secondary golfers the country has to offer.
“This is a great tournament,” Michael Loftus, Vice Presdient of sales and marketing at Morningstar said. “It’s Golf Canada’s largest national championship and will showcase the finest university and college golf programs in Canada.”
“It’s a tournament that gives both male and female competitors the opportunity to compete for a national title, as well as being able to go to the World University Championships representing Canada.”
The tournament will run next spring in a 72-hole, four-round format. Teams from across the country will play through their qualifying tournaments to get to Parksville for their shot at the national title.
“It’s extra motivation for sure,” VIU’s Kyler Bourgeault said. “To have a chance to not only make nationals but to be able to play right in your back yard, that’s a good shot of motivation if I’ve ever heard of one.”
“We’re going to have our work cut out for us but we’ll do what we can to try and get there.”
Morningstar has hosted a number of Golf Canada events throughout the years, from Canadian tour qualifiers to the CN Future Links.
Earlier this year, Brooke Henderson, from Smith Falls, Ontario, competed as part of the Canadian Women’s Tour event that took place in May. Henderson won her first LPGA tour event this past weekend and was given her LPGA tour card for the upcoming year.
“It’s great to be able to host an event like this,” Golf Canada’s Bill Klein said. “It’s a great course and Golf Canada has had nothing but success when we’ve had events here in the past.”
“It makes it easier knowing what you’ve got coming into an event and we’re expecting much of the same in regards to the quality that we’ve had in the past at Morningstar.”
This will mark the fourth time the national championships have been held on Vancouver Island, including two stops in Victoria and one in Duncan.
Out of the 12 national championships that have been held, Vancouver Island always comes up as a potential destination.
“We’ve got the facilities here,” Kevin Oates, Vancouver Island University golf coach and head golf professional at Morningstar said.
“Lots of those bigger schools, they might not have everything at their disposal like we do. There are lots of courses to play around here and these facilities that we get to use are top notch.
“Having the room to bring in a large group like this for the national championships is also something that we’re able to do, which again could be a problem in some areas that are already heavily populated,” Oates said.
“We’re very fortunate to have such a great combination to be able to host an event like this.”The last time the Vikes played host to the Canadian University/College Golf Championship was in 2012 at Cordova Bay Golf Course in Victoria, B.C.