Olson, Cascades in contention after Day 1 of Golf Canada nationals

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s golf team is solidly in medal contention after the first round of the Canadian University/College Championship in Parksville, B.C.

At Morningstar Golf Club on Tuesday, the Cascades combined for an opening-round score of 300 (12 over par), good for solo fourth place in the men’s team standings. That leaves them two strokes back of the Queen’s Golden Gaels and the Camosun Chargers (both +10), and one stroke ahead of a trio of Ontario teams at +13 – the Waterloo Warriors, Toronto Varsity Blues and Niagara College Knights.

While the second- through 12th-place teams are separated by just 10 strokes, the UBC Thunderbirds are running away from the field in the early going. The defending champs are 20 strokes clear of their closest pursuers after posting a combined score of 278 (-10).

Zach Olson had a tremendous start on Tuesday to pace the Cascades. The sophomore from Strathmore, Alta. registered five birdies en route to a one-under 71. He’s tied for sixth individually, four strokes back of frontrunner Scott Secord of UBC. Nathan Bahnman (+3, T23), Connor McLellan (+4, T33), Connor O’Dell (+6, T56) and Kaleb Fisher (+12, T98) are also in the mix for UFV.

The second of four rounds goes on Wednesday, and live scoring is available through the Golf Canada website.

“We’ve got work to do, but on a course like this, anything can happen,” Cascades head coach Chris Bertram said after the opening round. “Looks like UBC is playing a different golf course at the moment, but we aren’t going away.”

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The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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