Holmes caps Thunderbird career with 'incredible' victory

BARRIE, Ont. – UBC Thunderbird Evan Holmes is the king of Canadian university golf, again. The ‘Birds were looking to repeat the double championship they won in 2016 at the Canadian University/College Championship, but instead will settle for Holmes’ individual title and a third-place team finish.

The ‘Birds found themselves on the tough side of the draw in all four rounds of the tournament, being forced to battle wind gusts that at times exceeded 50 kilometres per hour.

The Thunderbirds finished five back of the Laval Rouge et Or in third place on the strength of the senior Holmes, who topped the individual leaderboard with a 5-over-par effort. It was the second time in three years that Holmes has been crowned champion at the tournament.

“It is a nice way to go out,” said Holmes. “I wish we got the team title as well. Definitely nice to end my college career with a win, but I just wish we could have made a few more shots to get the team title as well.”

“What do you say about Evan?” said UBC Head Coach Chris Macdonald. “That’s just incredible golf. To be around par and under par in gusting wind like that is pretty remarkable. The guy just never quits. He’s just all about the team and it just happens he’s a really good individual golfer as well.”

Holmes’ fourth round score of 75 was tops on the Thunderbirds while his three teammates all shot in the 80s. Andrew Harrison hit an 81 and finished the tournament in a tie for seventh. Freshman Logan Carver and Zaahidali Nathu also showed well in their first Canadian Championship finishing in a tie for 41st and 49th respectively.

“Obviously right now the guys are a bit disappointed right now,” said Macdonald. “To lose a tournament by five shots over four rounds is such a miniscule amount. It can make you think about a single missed putt, a lost drive or miscue with your iron, but they did extremely well and that’s the message I left with them today.”

The top finishers in the men’s and women’s division will get an exemption into their respective Canadian Amateur Championships, and the top three finishers in the men’s and women’s draws will qualify for the Summer Universiade Games, in Chinese Taipei, Taiwan, from Aug. 19-30.