The University of the Fraser Valley men’s golfers continued their red-hot run through the spring season, picking up their fourth straight victory at the Southwest Oregon College Invitational.
The tournament, contested at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., brought together 12 teams, mostly from the U.S. junior college ranks. The Cascades men trailed Bellevue College by two strokes after Sunday’s opening round, but rallied on Monday for a four-stroke triumph. UFV combined for a score of +34 to edge Bellevue (+38) and the University of Oregon club team (+43).
Zach Olson paced the Cascades men, carding rounds of 74 and 73 to finish tied for third in the individual standings at +4. Kaleb Fisher, fresh off a victory at Skagit Valley College’s Cardinal Classic tournament last week, was solo fifth at +5. Ryan Graf (7th, +7), Connor McLellan (T14, +12) and Connor O’Dell (T29, +16) rounded out UFV’s top five individual finishers.
On the women’s side, the Cascades finished fifth with a combined score of +140, 57 strokes back of the victorious Bellevue squad. Hannah Dirksen finished fifth individually at +29, bouncing back from an opening-round 90 to post an 82 on Monday. Jennifer Kell (T20, +47) and Ciara Melhus (T29, +64) helped UFV women finish in the top half of the team standings.
Cascades head coach Chris Bertram noted that the UFV men have now won all four events they’ve played in the spring – a match play exhibition vs. the MacEwan Griffins, the Olympic College Invitational, and the Cardinal Classic. That bodes well for them heading into their biggest spring tourney, the Canadian University/College Championship at Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville, B.C. (May 31-June 3).
“Things are continuing to round into form with our biggest test of the year coming up in three short weeks,” Bertram said.
It’s a testament to the Cascades men’s depth that they’ve been able to maintain excellent team results despite their No. 1 golfer, O’Dell, not being in peak form. The two-time CCAA All-Canadian is still looking for his first top-10 individual finish of the spring.
“Connor has been huge for us all year, but it’s great to see his teammates step up when they have to,” Bertram said. “I know Connor will be ready to go when we show up at Morningstar.”