The second round of the PING CCAA Golf National Championships was a frustrating one for the tournament host University of the Fraser Valley Cascades.
The Cascades men’s team had gotten off to a promising start during Wednesday’s opening round at Chilliwack Golf Club – they sat in second place at day’s end, just three strokes back of the front-running Niagara College Knights. Moreover, UFV standout Connor O’Dell held the men’s individual lead after firing a five-under 67.
But O’Dell’s fortunes, and those of the Cascades men’s team as a whole, took a turn on Thursday. O’Dell carded a six-over 78 to slip from top spot into a tie for 13th, and the UFV men fell from second to seventh overall.
“We weren’t able to follow up on our strong start, and we’re disappointed in how the day went,” Cascades head coach Chris Bertram said. “All in all, we’ve got to put it behind us and come out firing on Friday. I think the medals are still within reach, but we’re going to have to dig deep.”
The Cascades’ Connor McLellan is one of seven golfers, along with O’Dell, at +1 for the tournament. The Chilliwack product followed his opening-round 70 with a 75 on Thursday. Zach Olson’s 73 was UFV’s best round of the day – he’s tied for 31st at five-over for the week, followed by teammates Nathan Bahnman (+7, T38) and Cody Stewart (+10, T48).
The Cascades have accumulated a combined 587 strokes, 17 in arrears of Niagara (570). The Camosun Chargers (573) and Georgian Grizzlies (579) sit second and third in the men’s team standings.
On the women’s side, UFV is sixth overall with a total of 354 strokes. That leaves them 38 back of the first-place Humber Hawks (316). The UBC Okanagan Heat (326) and Georgian Grizzlies (329) are also in podium positions heading into Friday.
Rookie Jennifer Kell has been the top performer for the Cascades women’s squad this week – she’s 12th in the individual standings at +29 for the tournament. Hannah Dirksen (+37) is tied for 16th, while Ciara Melhus (+65) is 25th.
Stephen Brown of the Lambton Lions (-8) and Carolyn Lee of the UBCO Heat (+11) lead the men’s and women’s individual races, respectively.
Friday’s third and final round tees off at 8:30 a.m. at Chilliwack Golf Club.