L-R: Ralf Mundel (Senior Director Retail Operations for Thrifty Foods), Dave Whitman (Director of Advertising and Marketing of Times Colonist), Lawren Rowe, Ken Mariash (President, Bayview Place)

VICTORIA – For the second year in a row third year University of Victoria Vikes men’s golfer Lawren Rowe was presented the Thrifty Foods Golf Award. The annual award comes with a $2500 cheque thanks to the funds raised from the annual Thrifty Foods Youth Golf Clinic, hosted this year on Jun 4.

Thrifty Foods has been a major contributor to the University of Victoria on many unique initiatives including the Vikes Golf program through the Thrifty Foods youth Golf Clinics as part of the PGA tour, and supporting the Vikes varsity golf team with their annual athletic award. These clinics give kids the opportunity to work with the Vikes to develop their skills and help inspire them to see the future possibilities that there are with continuing in sport.

“To date the Thrifty Foods Youth Golf clinics have raised just over $26,000 towards the Thrifty Foods Athletic award which is now an endowed award.” said Ralf Mundel, Senior Director Retail Operations for Thrifty Foods. “This will provide financial support in perpetuity to assist developing athletes. We are so pleased to be able to support Vikes golfers like Lawren and see the positive community engagement through the youth golf clinics.”

In just three years of competition Rowe has not only made a huge impact on the caliber of the Vikes men’s golf team but he has also been a dominant face in the NAIA. In 2016-17 alone Rowe was victorious in four of eight of his regular season tournaments. At the A.I.I. regional tournament Rowe finished tied for second and was named an A.I.I. Tournament All-Star and NAIA All-Region West Team member. Rowe was the only Vike to qualify for the NAIA National Championship based on his performance at the 2016 championship.

“Lawren exhibits great work ethic during practice and play and is a proven leader for our men’s golf program,” said Vikes head coach Justin Clews. “Lawren is also a former junior Vike on the Vikes Junior Tour. He started the game of golf locally here in Victoria and attributes much of his success to his practice regiment and the junior golf development he received on the Vikes Junior Tour when he started playing golf.”

Rowe spent the majority of this year with the lowest stroke average in the NAIA putting him at the top of the list for who to beat at this year’s NAIA national championship. Extremely difficult weather conditions proved to be the toughest challenge though, as Rowe uncharacteristically finished tied for 32nd. At the Canadian University/College Championship Rowe finished fourth overall, while the team finished seventh. To cap off his NAIA season Rowe was named an NAIA PING First Team All-American for the third-straight year.

Future Vikes aspiring to follow in Rowe’s footsteps had the chance to learn from the Vikes themselves at the Thrifty Foods Youth Golf Clinic on Jun. 4. The Sunday clinic held at Uplands Golf Clinic and had four clinic times each of 1.5 hours of instruction from current and former Vikes as well as PGA tour golfers.  Registration included two, week-long passes to the Bayview Place CardTronics Open, as well as a clinic t-shirt and hat and two Vikes golf balls and proceeds went to support the Thrifty Foods Golf Award.