While golf enthusiasts in Victoria get set for this week’s Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship, the Camosun College Chargers men’s golf team will swing into action this weekend at the UBC-Okanagan Invitational in Kelowna as the 2017 PACWEST season begins. The two-time reigning champion Chargers have a core of veterans returning to the program and are pleased to welcome four new recruits as the squad breaks ground at Highland Pacific, the Chargers new home course.
“We have big shoes to fill coming off back to back conference championships, but I know the 2017 team is capable of being in the mix for this year’s title,” states Chargers Head Coach John Randle. “Additionally, our new home at Highland Pacific is exactly what we need with a great practice area and a nice course in great shape. The ownership, management and staff have welcomed us with open arms and we feel very lucky to call this facility home.”
Camosun is also happy to welcome back former player Brady Stead as he returns to the program in his new role as the men’s golf assistant coach.
“I’m really excited about being back officially,” comments Stead. “I’ve joined the PGA Canada as a teaching professional and I hope to continue to learn and use some of my experience as a Charger to help the players and the program in any way I can. The guys have been playing great this summer and I’m looking forward to seeing them bring that ability into the 2017 season.”
During his five years at Camosun (2011-2015), Stead helped the Chargers to nine PACWEST and CCAA medal winning finishes. He earned a plethora of individual awards including a CCAA All-Canadian, CCAA National Scholar Athlete, CCAA & PACWEST All-Star, the PACWEST Player of the Year and the prestigious Camosun College President’s Cup. Following his graduation from Camosun with a BBA in Marketing, Stead went on to win the Overall Amateur title at the 2016 Vancouver Open and is currently working at the Royal Colwood Golf Club.
“Since joining the Chargers seven years ago, Brady has made himself into a great player and has been exactly where these guys are now,” says Coach Randle. “He is a great role model for our up and coming athletes and continues to demonstrate that hard work and dedication can pay off in great play.”
Third-year Charger and Camosun Business Administration student Tyler Robertson also makes a return to the program following his recent victory at the Simon Fraser Championship in his home town of Prince George in August. Robertson dethroned the three-peat champion Trevor Metcalf to capture the title and his first major tournament win.
“It was really exciting to win,” says Robertson. “I was nervous and I don’t think there was a time when my hands weren’t shaking on that last day… but I just stuck to my game plan. The added pressure of leading after the first two rounds was also something new that I had to deal with but my dad was caddying for me and having him there really calmed me down. I feel like my game is in the best shape that it has ever been, so hopefully that leads to some exciting stuff with the Chargers this year.”
Rounding out the list of returnees are 4th year student-athletes Scott Merriam (Golf Management) and Mike Flegel (AD Arts) and 2nd year golfer Callan Rakimov (Arts & Science).
Joining the program is Cole Yungen from Powell River (Bus Admin), Belmont grad Dylan Green (UT), Claremont grad Alex Cordero (College Prep) and International student-athlete Ingmar Haars (AD Arts) from Achterwehr, Germany.
The Chargers kick off the 2017 PACWEST golf season this weekend in Kelowna at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan Invitational tournament. Over the following four weeks, teams will compete in a series of four provincial tournaments with the goal of qualifying for the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Golf Championship which will be hosted this year by Durham College October 16-20 in Ottawa, ON.
Camosun will host the third tournament in the PACWEST series at Highland Pacific Golf on the weekend of September 30 – October 1.