If made into a film, last week’s Canadian University/College National Golf Championships at Morningstar Golf Club would not exactly be an Alfred Hitchcock work.
There was, however, at least a spot of suspense thrown in midway through the final round.
The University of British Columbia overwhelmed a field of the top 20 men’s and top 12 women’s schools in the country, rolling to both team titles and getting individual championships from Scott Secord and Kat Kennedy in the four-day tourney, which wrapped up Friday.
“We had a game plan, and we stuck to it,” said Secord, whose 72-hole total of 11-under-par was good for a four-stroke advantage over Lawren Rowe of host University of Victoria.
Kyler Bourgeault of Qualicum Beach, a Vancouver Island University golfer who was added to the field late as an individual qualifier, missed Friday’s cut by a single stroke.
UBC led by a whopping 20 strokes just on the first day — prompting Camosun College coach John Randle to joke the “real tournament” was for second place. They added to the lead the next two days and finished 18-under-par, 45 strokes clear of runner-up UVic.
Secord had threatened a similar runaway in the individual men’s competition, opening with back-to-back rounds of 5-under 67 that gave him a six-stroke lead over Rowe.
Scott Secord of the University of British Columbia tees off on the 18th hole en route to the Canadian University/College men’s golf championship at Morningstar Golf Club Friday. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS
He gave back two of those shots with a one-over 73 Thursday, but still had a four-stroke edge entering the final round.
It didn’t last long.
Rowe, who started in a group on the back nine about 20 minutes before Secord teed off on hole one, embarked on a birdie barrage through his first nine holes and made the turn at 4-under for the day.
When Secord bogeyed the ninth hole, he held just a single stroke edge over Rowe, -9 to -8. At the same time, he was getting a challenge in his own threesome from Connor McLellan of the College of Fraser Valley, who moved within three at -6.
“I knew (Rowe) was coming up,” Secord said. “He’s a great player. All these guys are great players.”
Secord promptly deposited his tee shot on No. 10 into a side bank, but recovered to birdie the hole, which he admitted was the turning point in the round.
“I didn’t birdie any par 5s, which are my bread and butter, but once I got my putting down I was able to play steady.”
Rowe also knew he had closed within a shot of the lead, but couldn’t maintain his momentum after his own putting touch deserted him.
“My coach asked me before the round if he could let me know where Scott and I were at,” he said. “When I was on (hole) 11, he told me I was back by one. It surprised me; I didn’t think (Secord) would be at minus-9. I thought he’d be lower.
As Secord notched a pair of birdies to restore his cushion on the back nine, Rowe was giving back one shot and fighting his putter. He left a couple of birdie tries just short and then lipping his final birdie attempt on No. 9, his final hole.
“Whenever I felt like I had some momentum, I just couldn’t get my lines right.”
Still, his 2-under 70 helped the Vikings to their best showing of the week as a team, a 1-under that stood as the day’s best round and allowed them to leapfrog two other schools into second place for the tourney.
Unlike the UBC men, the school’s women used a come-from-behind route to their title after trailing Universit´Laval Rouge et Or of Quebec and UVic after the opening round.
“The women told us (Thursday) that we inspired them,” Secord said.
Kennedy, who led by just one stroke entering the final round, finished at 300 to win by four shots over Amanda Pelletier of Laval Rouge et Or.