VICTORIA – They were able improve after stumbling in the first round, but in the end the rust of almost four months away from competition was too much for the UVic Vikes men’s golf team to overcome in a ninth place finish at the ACU Invitational in Phoenix Arizona.

“Overall, it was a challenging event for us,” said Vikes head coach Justin Clews. “I was relatively pleased with the guys play, but we didn’t finish where I was hoping.”

The Vikes were 11th out of 14 teams after a difficult opening round, but followed that up by taking 14 shots off their score in the second round to post their tournament best round of 293.

A final round team score of 303 was good enough for the Vikes to solidify their spot in ninth, dropping two spots after their brilliant second round.

Third-year Lawren Rowe led the team individually, finishing the tournament tied for 11th thanks to a bogey free round of 70, good for two-under par.

First-year Vike Brandon McManus also finished the tournament strong, posting back-to-back rounds of 73 to finish in a tie for 23rd.

A real bright spot was the play of Brandon,” said Clews. “He really stepped it up the last 2 rounds for us and showed great composure on the course.”

Mike Griffin and Jacob Hayes rounded out the scoring for UVic, finishing tied for 36th and 39th respectively. Jake Hamilton was forced to pull out of the competition after round one due to injury.

“Mike contributed with a good second round, where he was under par for most of the day but bogeyed his last hole,” said Clews.

The Vikes won’t have to wait long for the opportunity to climb their way back up the scoreboard. They are back in action next weekend at the Master’s College Spring Invitational hosted in Sand Canyon, California

11 – VICTORIA VIKES (307-293-305: 905) 
T11 – Lawren Rowe (76-73-70: 219)
T23 – Brandon McManus (77-73-73: 223)
T36 – Mike Griffin (76-72-79: 227)
T39 – Jacob Hayes (78-75-83: 236)
78 – Jake Hamilton (84-W-W: N/A)