UFV’s Sharon Park earned a spot on Team Canada with a third place finish at the Canadian University/College Championship.

UFV’s Park wins national golf bronze

Cascades rookie finishes third at Canadian University/College Championship

Sharon Park of the University of the Fraser Valley women’s golf team wrapped up an outstanding rookie season with a bronze medal at the recent Canadian University/College Championship, punching her ticket to the FISU Summer Universiade in the process.

Extremely windy conditions at Tangle Creek Golf and Country Club in Barrie, Ont. inflated scores throughout the week, but Park battled through them to post rounds of 76, 79, 77 and 86 to wrap up the event at 30 over par. That left the Surrey product in third place individually, 16 strokes back of winner Kat Kennedy of the UBC Thunderbirds and one back of silver medalist Laura Upenieks of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

The Golf Canada championship drew university and college teams from across the nation (11 women’s teams, 19 men’s teams), and the top three women’s and men’s individual finishers qualified for the 2017 Summer Universiade, Aug. 19-30 in Chinese Taipei.

Park becomes the second Cascades golfer to earn the right to represent Canada in international play, following in the footsteps of Aaron Pauls, who was part of Canadian men’s teams for FISU events in 2014 and 2015. She’s the first UFV female and third Cascade overall to medal at the national university/college championship, joining Pauls (bronze, 2015) and Connor McLellan (bronze, 2016).

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” UFV head coach Chris Bertram said.“To finish in the top three at this event with the best players in the country is amazing, much less for someone in her first year going up against the best seniors in Canada. It’s pretty remarkable.”

Park, a finalist for UFV’s 2016-17 female rookie of the year and athlete of the year awards, won three times in four PACWEST tourneys last fall en route to CCAA All-Canadian honours. She added two more wins in stateside events this spring as the Cascades geared up for the Golf Canada championship.

“She strikes the ball very solidly, and in windy conditions that’s a huge asset,” Bertram said. “But she’s also matured so much this year, able to focus herself when the pressure is on. I think winning a few times this year prepared her for this.”

Park and teammates Hannah Dirksen (+52, 15th overall) and Jennifer Kell (+77, 22nd) were the only CCAA women’s squad to make the 54-hole cut, and they finished fifth in the team standings with a combined score of +159. The UBC Thunderbirds (+70), Toronto Varsity Blues (+120) and Victoria Vikes (+128) occupied the podium positions.

The Cascades were the only CCAA program to have both its men’s and women’s teams make the cut, but the UFV men struggled in the blustery conditions, placing 10th overall as a team. Halen Davis was the Cascades’ top individual finisher, tying for 16th at +21 for the tournament. Connor O’Dell (+28, T31), Zach Olson (+30, T35), Cole Briggs (+35, T49) and Nathan Bahnman (+57, 57th) rounded out the UFV contingent.

Just eight strokes separated the top five men’s teams, and the Laval Rouge et Or claimed the title at +75 for the tournament.

“Any time you make the cut at this event, it’s an accomplishment,” Bertram said. “Getting through to the final day is a pretty big achievement for us, and obviously we would have liked to perform better over the last couple days, but we’ve got strong teams coming back next season and we’ll learn from this.”

For more on the team, visit ufvcascades.ca.

Just Posted

Police sketch shows suspect in assault of 23-year-old woman

Incident took place Nov. 14 on Maclure Road in Abbotsford

Vancouver concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Fire reported after five people observed throwing rocks through windows of business

Blaze broke out early Friday morning on Bourquin Crescent West in Abbotsford

Woman charged with attempted murder after Mission assault

Victim in hospital in stable condition after Maple Ridge woman allegedly attacks him

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Six straight for streaking Giants

Vancouver blanks Cougars on Teddy Bear Toss night at Langley Events Centre

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

Most Read