The Queen’s Golf team was triumphant on the green at the OUA Championships held Friday, Oct. 15 at Cherry Downs Golf Club in Pickering.
The Queen’s men won the tournament with a team score of +3, nine strokes ahead of Wilfred Laurier, the second-place finishers. The women’s team finished in fourth with a score of +46, 22 strokes behind Western, the first-place finishers.
Zachary Greigenberger, ArtSci ’21, finished second overall with a round of 70 (-1), just two strokes behind top-finisher Thomas Demarco from Windsor (-3). Two of his fellow teammates, Michael von Schalburg and Nick Pacione, came in fourth and fifth respectively.
“I think we all thought that we definitely had a good chance, but you never know. It’s one day. Anything can happen, especially in golf,” Greigenberger said in an interview with The Journal.
Evidently, what did end up happening was an OUA first-place finish—a fairytale ending to Greigenberger’s golf career at Queen’s. The athlete, who has golfed here for the past four years, will be graduating this winter.
“It was amazing to get it done and bring the banner back to Queens for my last run at it,” he said.
On the day of the tournament, Greigenberger focused on keeping the ball in play, something he’d struggled with earlier in the season.
“[I] just hit a lot of long irons off the tee, stayed away from the driver and kept the ball in play. That seemed to be the key,” he said.
“I definitely felt like my mental approach was better that day than any of the previous rounds I played in the fall,” he said. “So I think that’s the number one thing, and I just stayed positive throughout the round and never got down on myself.”
Greigenberger ended the round by hitting a wedge shot on the 18th hole that landed about three feet from the cup, then making the putt for birdie.
“That was a really good feeling. It was a great way to end the round and a great way to end my Queen’s career,” he said.
Golf Head Coach Kristen MacLaren praised both the men and women for their performances. She emphasized that capturing the championship was a long time coming for the veteran players on the men’s side.
“We’ve been competitive for numerous years now,” MacLaren told The Journal in an interview.
“It was absolutely amazing to see them finish, especially those that are graduating, off with a banner and the gold medal.”
At the tournament, the Queen’s women teed off at the end of the day and were forced to play their last couple holes in the dark after a six-hour round. Despite just missing the podium, Maclaren couldn’t be prouder that the women persevered through tough circumstances.
“It was just grueling trying to get it in before dark, and then just being out on the golf course for six hours. I’m proud of all three women for playing the way that they did,” she said.
Maclaren believes that mental toughness is the golf team’s greatest strength. She was impressed with her team’s ability to handle and adapt to change, including as a shortened season and not being allowed to stay overnight while attending tournaments on the road.
“I believe all my athletes showed this year, especially on Friday at OUAs, that they’re mentally tough,” she said. “We didn’t start the day on a positive note, but I do believe that led to the team getting out there and being prepared and wanting to win.”
“I am extremely proud that they persevered. They dealt with what we had to deal with, and they brought the banner home, which is absolutely amazing.”
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