The Camosun College Chargers men’s golf team fought their way through a shower of difficulties this past weekend to finish third in the Douglas College Invitational at the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club in Coquitlam. In the end, it would take more than a soggy start to dampen the squad’s spirits as they bounced back on Day 2 to make a strong finish and maintain their No. 1 position in the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) conference standings.


“The guys struggled on Saturday in some rainy conditions,” says Chargers Head Coach John Randle. “We were 10 shots off the lead after the first round, but the guys battled through and hung in to post the low on Day 2. It was a great comeback for us as the team shaved 13 shots off our Day 1 score to finish just four shots off the lead.”


The Langara College Falcons won the tournament with a two-day total of 591 (294 + 297). The UBC-O Heat were second with 593 (298 + 295) and Camosun scored 304 and 291 (595) to place third. University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), Vancouver Island University (VIU) and Douglas College (DC) rounded out the field with 598, 616 and 634 respectively.


Key performances for Camosun were made by second-year student-athlete and Victoria native Jeff Riches (Claremont) who finished third in the men’s individual race with a solid 73 and 71, and fifth-year player Mac Keats from Cochrane, AB who scored 75 and 71 to tie for fifth. Chargers veterans Matt Matheson (West Van) and Scott Merriam (Cranbrook) recorded totals of 152 (78 + 74) and 153 (78 + 75).


After three tournaments, all four Chargers are in the PACWEST’s Top 10 Men’s League Leaders: Mac Keats is T2 (431); Matt Matheson is T4 with 433, Scott Merriam is ninth with 450 and Jeff Riches is T10 with 451.


In team standings, Camosun sits at the top of the conference with a three-tournament total of 1759. UFV is second with 1773 and in third is UBC-O with 1800. VIU, Langara and Douglas each have 1802, 1807 and 1881.


With a firm 14-stroke lead, the Chargers have their sights set on repeating last year’s golden Provincial Championship finish this weekend at the PACWEST’s fourth and concluding tournament of the 2016 season. VIU will host the two-day invitational event at the Morningstar Golf Club, October 1-2.


“This week, we turn our focus to VIU’s event at Morningstar,” comments Coach Randle. “It’s a challenging course but we made our best all-time finish there at the 2016 Canadian University/College Championship in June so I think we’ll do well. The guys are getting closer to playing their best and I’m happy with their progress as we ramp up for the CCAA Nationals in three weeks!”