By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
The University of Victoria Vikes men’s golf team will tee off for the opening of their National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) season this weekend, Sept. 18-19, in Lacey, Wash. for the St. Martin’s Fall Classic at Olympia Golf & Country Club. Immediately following the team will head to Bellingham, WA to also compete in the Western Washington Invitational, Sept. 21-22.
Five players returning from last year’s roster will make the journey south for a total of six rounds of golf and 108 holes over only four days of competition. Both tournaments will begin with 36 holes on the first day before finishing off the final 18 on the final day of each competition.
The Vikes squad is bolstered by the return of four senior players from last season, including fourth years Matthew Broughton, Jesse Teron, Sean Hay and Alex Cartwright. This weekend, however, will see second years Lawren Rowe, Andrew Funk and Mike Griffin and first-year Jake Hamilton make the trip along with Broughton.
Last year as a rookie Rowe made an impressive appearance at his first visit to the St. Martins Fall Classic shooting a 3-under 210 (70, 70, 70) and finishing seventh in the field. The Vikes as a team cracked the top ten after three rounds in Olympia, finishing sixth on the par-71 course with an 18-over 870 (289, 294, 287 team score.
This weekend marks the first competition of the 2015-16 season following a strong Vikes finish in the 2015 Canadian University/College Golf Championship in Guelph, Ont. last summer. The Vikes finished in second place and only eight strokes behind winners the UBC Thunderbirds.
The same traveling roster will also compete in the 44th Annual Western Washington Invitational, hosted at Bellingham Golf and Country Club, from Sept. 21-22.
The Vikes women’s golf team won’t begin competition until Oct. 8-10 for the ladies’ rendition of the St. Martin’s Fall Classic and Western Washington Fall Invitational Oct. 11-13. The Vikes Golf Shootout is set this year for Oct. 18-20 at Cordova Bay Golf Club in Victoria.