Medicine Hat, AB – The Heat women’s golf team would save their best for last at the CCAA National Championship at Desert Blume Golf Club, as a final day score of 163 would propel them to the bronze medal.
Their four day score of 666 would be 41 shots behind the eventual champion Red Deer Queens, and 25 shots behind the silver medalists and host Medicine Hat Rattlers.
This marks the sixth time the Heat women have finished on the podium in the programs last 10 seasons. This is the most podium finishes in all of the CCAA dating back to 2009 when they finished with the silver medal.
The No. 1 ranked team heading into the tournament, the Heat would struggle in the windy conditions at Desert Blume on the opening day, as they would sit in fourth position following a first round score of 170. A second day score of 165 would jump the Heat into third position at the midway point, and they would sit just eight shots back of silver medal position.
Following a third day score of 168 the team would fall back once again into fourth position heading into the final 18 holes on Friday in Medicine Hat. Knowing they needed a solid performance to finish on the podium, the women came up clutch by firing their low round of the week of 163 on the final day to secure the bronze medal.
The Heat would be named the team of the day in the final round as they not only made a comeback for the bronze medal, but were noted for having excellent sportsmanship and a positive attitude throughout.
Individual results and comments:
It would be rookie All-Canadian Samantha Copeland leading the Heat on the individual side once again, as the freshman would finish in eight place following a four day score of 328. Copeland’s first round of 79 was her sub-80 score of the season thanks to three birdies in the opening round.
The freshman noted that her ball striking has been solid all-season, and that continued at Desert Blume “I hit 10 greens in regulation when I shot 79 and the putter started to heat up the last day thankfully. I knew we needed some low scores in the final round if we wanted a chance to medal.”
Playing some of her best golf of the season, Kelowna’s own McKenna Lesiuk would fire a season-low round of 80 on the second day to help the Heat capture the bronze medal. It was the back-nine during the second round where Lesiuk found her swing, as she had seven pars in the nine hole stretch. “I hit the ball really well all week, especially on the back nine the second day. I knew I had to shoot a good score to keep us in medal contention. The greens were really quick compared to what we have been playing the last couple weeks”
Another newly appointed All-Canadian, Rebecca Reitsma would struggle the first two days at Desert Blume before firing back-to-back rounds of 84 and 83 to close out the tournament on a positive note. The freshman noted that she was nervous in the opening couple rounds but calmed down the final two days “I calmed down the last two days for sure, I just needed to play well, I didn’t need to play out of my league”
Following her round of 84 on Thursday, Reitsma was named the female golfer of the day which is determined by a combination of her play on the course, along with her positive behaviour and sportsmanship.