Connor McLellan wins bronze at golf nationals

University of the Fraser Valley golfer competes at Canadian University/College Championships

UFV’s Connor McLellan (left) won the individual bronze medal

UFV’s Connor McLellan (left) won the individual bronze medal

University of the Fraser Valley golfer Connor McLellan finished in phenomenal fashion at the Canadian University/College Championship, rallying to claim the men’s individual bronze medal.

McLellan fired a four-under 68 during last Friday’s final round at Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville, B.C. to move to -5 for the tournament, trailing only Scott Secord of the UBC Thunderbirds (-11) and Lawren Rowe of the UVic Vikes (-7).

McLellan opened with a four-over 76 during Tuesday’s opening round, but steadied himself with a one-over 73 on Wednesday. He finished in torrid fashion – his 66 on Thursday was the low round of the week, and his 68 on Friday was the low round of the day.

“I really didn’t have any pressure on me after the last two days, so I kind of got to go out there and free-wheel and make some birdies,” McLellan explained afterward. “Putts just started to go in on the third day. It was hard to miss the hole – it was one of those days where everything goes in. It was a confidence boost, and you just ride the momentum from there.

“It was a storybook ending, I guess.”

Cascades head coach Chris Bertram called the bronze medal a “tremendous accomplishment” for McLellan.

“Finishing these last two days at 10 under par in some really tough conditions says a lot about the kind of talent he has as a golfer,” Bertram noted.

In the team competition, the Cascades men began the day in third place, but fell to fourth after posting their highest combined score of the week (310). They ended up at +49, trailing the UBC Thunderbirds (-18), Victoria Vikes (+27) and Queen’s Golden Gaels (+41).

For the second straight year, they were the top-finishing CCAA team in the 20-team field, and one of three to make the 10-team cut. The Camosun Chargers (+51, fifth overall) and Niagara College Knights (+63, sixth) were the others.

Connor O’Dell (+13 for the tourney, T21), Zach Olson (+15, T24), Nathan Bahnman (+34, 49th) and Kaleb Fisher (+38, 51st) took turns boosting the Cascades’ fortunes throughout the tournament.