Vikings off to CCAA Golf Championship
University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings Michael Harrison won the men's Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference title Red Tail Landing in Nisku this past weekend. He will be gunning for a Canadian championship in Oshawa from Oct. 17-20
The University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings men’s golf team is going to nationals.
Led by Michael Harrison’s individual gold medal, the Vikings finished second in the team event at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference on the weekend to qualify for the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Golf Championships at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Oshawa, Ont., from Oct. 17-20.
The weather at Red Tail Landing in Nisku was not ideal for golf this weekend, with high winds and low temperatures, especially for the final round on Sunday, but Harrison managed to post a 9-over-153 (77-76) over the two days to win gold by one stroke over MacEwan University’s Les Fisher. Augustana’s Braden Clarkson was fourth at 14-over-158.
This is the third straight year the Vikings have qualified for the national championships and they have their sights set on cracking the top 10 this year.
Harrison, a Camrose native, finished third at the North Regional in Camrose and won the South Regional in Lethbridge two weeks ago. Winning the ACAC championship tournament should sew up his second set of all-Canadian honours and ACAC golfer of the year status, he previously earned a silver medal in the 2015 season, behind teammate Braxton Fox as the Vikings won team gold.
“It was very tough conditions in the second round for everybody — it was blowing up to 50, 60 kilometres and cold — for him to shoot a 76, that was phenomenal,” said Penny, noting this will be Harrison’s third trip to the CCAA’s and Clarkson’s second.
Darion Geddes finished in a tie for 16 at 22-over-166 (82-84), Carson Roche finished 25th at 28-over-172 (83-89) while Craig Lynes was 35th at 51-over-195 (92-103).
Their team score of 649 was seven strokes back of Red Deer College at 642.
Going to nationals is a big step for some of the younger players like Roche and Lynes, and although there are funding issues to get to Oshawa, they committed to finding the money to go.
“It’s too big of a deal for the young fellas, especially two of my guys who have never been to a national championship,” said Penny.
It was a tough weekend for the Vikings women’s team as Cienna Hewitt finished ninth overall at 54-over-198 (99-99) and Darcie Benoit was 12th at 68-over-212 (100-112). This was supposed to be a development year for the women.
“They’ve never played in conditions like that, neither of them,” said Penny. “It’s an experience thing, but they did well.”