While most student-athletes spend their summers training for the upcoming school season, Queen’s golfer Russell Bowie will be representing his country on an international stage.
The Mississauga native is among six Canadian golfers from the CIS who’ve been selected to travel to Gwangju, South Korea, to participate in the 2015 Summer Universiade Games from July 3 – 14.
This will be the third appearance golf has made at the biennial university games. The sport first debuted in the 2007 tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, and was also on the program in 2011 in Shenzhen, China.
To be considered for the international tournament, Bowie needed a strong showing at the Canadian University/College Golf Championships in May. After a slow start during the championships, Bowie was sitting at six-over par, six shots behind the leader. On the final two days, he combined for a score of four-under par, putting him at two-over for the tournament, finishing in second place. Rather than make any major changes to his game, Bowie became accustomed to the course, and heated up.
“The day before the tournament started I was actually playing quite poorly,” Bowie said. “But every round I got better and better, by the time I got to the final round I was playing very well.”
Instead of taking time off between the CIS Championship and the Summer Universiade Games, Bowie has continued playing in tournaments.
Most recently he competed in the Monroe Invitational Championship in Pittsford, New York in June, where he finished in a tie for 32nd. The tournament featured top golfers from across the NCAA and North American Amateur ranks.
This isn’t the first time that Bowie’s qualified for the Universiade. He’s qualified twice before, but didn’t end up going either time due to a conflict with the Canadian Amateur Championship one year, and a change in the application process that he was unaware of in the other.
The Summer Universiade Games act as a mini-Olympics for University athletes with opening ceremonies, over 20,000 athletes competing and an Athletes’ Village. Bowie joins two other CIS golfers at the tournament. Bowie said he doesn’t only see this as a great experience for himself, but one for the entire Queen’s golf team despite being the only athlete from the team who qualified this season.
“I played well at nationals, so I was able to qualify for the event,” he said. “I think this can show them [my teammates] how close they are to being able to play in an event like this. I think it is a very fine line between me qualifying and them not qualifying.”
Since graduating from Queen’s with a degree in Economics this summer, Bowie looks to the tournament as a nice way to finish off his university career.
“If I play well, it will be a nice way to finish off my Queen’s career,” Bowie said. “It will kind of wrap everything up.
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