Cascades men earn bronze at nationals

Men’s golf team medals, women finish fourth at Nationals

A final-round turnaround helped the UFV Cascades men’s team walk away from the PING CCAA Golf National Championships with some hardware.

The men’s team bounced back from a tournament low 300 on day two to shoot a combined 286 on the final day of competition to earn the bronze on their home course in Chilliwack on Oct. 16.

UFV edged out the Georgian College Grizzlies by one stroke to complete the comeback.

“There’s good ways and bad ways to come in third place, and this was definitely a great way to get third,” Cascades head coach Chris Bertram said. “I’m really proud of the team coming up with the best score of the final day of the tournament.”

Fourth-year CCAA All-Canadian Connor O’Dell led the way for the Cascades, shooting a combined 215 over the three days. He was tied for sixth overall individually and shot rounds of 67, 78 and 70. O’Dell also won the Fair Play Award at the event, which honours the player with the best sportsmanship at the tournament.

“That summarizes Connor O’Dell,” Bertram said. “He’s a great player, he’s a great person to play golf with, and it’s great to see him recognized. Everyone who plays with him talks about how much of a gentleman he is on the golf course. He makes our program and our university very proud.”

Other Cascades male scores included: Connor McLellan (t-13th, 218), Zach Olson (20th, 220), and Nathan Bahnman (t-32, 225).

The women’s team narrowly missed a medal, finishing tied for fourth place overall in the team event. The Cascades struggled on day one, shooting 181 but then shot a 173 and a 160 to move up the rankings.

UFV was led by Jennifer Kell, who finished 11th overall and shot a 254 over the three days. Other women Cascades competitors included: Hannah Dirksen (14th, 260) and Ciara Melhus (t-24, 301).

Bertram said he’s confident that his young team can bounce back next year to medal.

“They’re sitting there looking at those medals and those banners, and I know that they believe in their hearts it could have been them,” he said. “I’m really excited to get them all back next year and have another go at it.”

Just like O’Dell, Dirksen also earned CCAA All-Canadian honours for her strong season on the link. She won tournaments in Chilliwack and Surrey, and claimed the Pacwest individual title.

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