The University of the Fraser Valley men’s golf team is in Medicine Hat, Alta. this week in pursuit of its second consecutive Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national championship.
The Cascades, CCAA men’s team titlists in 2013 and 2017, are ranked No. 1 in the nation heading into the national tournament, which runs Tuesday through Friday at Desert Blume Golf Course. The Medicine Hat College Rattlers are the tourney hosts.
“It’s a beautiful golf course, and it’s a good test,” said Cascades’ head coach Chris Bertram, whose team played practice rounds at Desert Blume on Sunday and Monday. “Conditions here can be challenging – we’ve played in a few different winds, but things seem to be calming down a bit. It’s a golf course that demands you hit some quality shots and hit your targets. The greens are big and slopey and fast, but if you’re playing well and you’ve got control of your golf ball, you can score here.”
The Cascades’ five-man roster this week features Daniel Campbell, Zach Olson, Kyle Claggett, Ben Whiton and Cody Stewart. It’s an accomplished group. Campbell is the reigning CCAA men’s individual champ and recently won the PACWEST conference individual gold medal for the second straight year; Olson notched his second victory as a Cascade at the UFV Invitational earlier this fall; Claggett won the silver medal at the recent PACWEST championships; Whiton was a CCAA All-Canadian last season; and third-year Cascade Stewart has been a rock-solid presence in his return to the roster this fall after two years away from the team.
“I feel really good about the group of guys we have here,” Bertram enthused. “I’m not sure we’ve ever had a group of five players at a national championship who seem to get along so well and push each other in such a positive way.
“We’ve certainly had a really good run of success recently, and everyone’s feeling confident about this week. If we can play well, we’ll be near the top of the leaderboard by Friday.”