Blame it on the course

Men’s golf team places 18th out of 20 competitors in Canadian University/College Golf Championship in Hamilton

The Queen’s golf team travelled to Hamilton last month looking to build on their 13th-place finish a year ago, but came up short.

The Gaels placed 18th out of 20 teams from across Canada who competed in the University/College Golf Championship at King’s Forest Golf Course in Hamilton.

The tournament was scheduled for a four-day period from May 25-29, but it was shortened to three days due to rain. Queen’s exchange student Duncan Melville, from Scotland, posted a team-high performance of 20-over par for three rounds on the par-72 course, 23 strokes behind the tournament leader.

The five Queen’s players combined for a 96-over par score of 961, well behind the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s 10-over par team score.

Sean Lackey of Queen’s placed 71st individually with a three-day score of 81-79-82 to total a score of 242, or 26-over par. He said the team’s drop to 18th place is more indicative of a different course than of a change in the team’s capabilities.

“To be honest, it was a really tough course,” he said. “Every fairway was tree-lined. Tee to green we had trouble getting ourselves in a good position to scores, and then the bogies pile up.”

UBC, who repeated as champions, experienced a slighter shift in scores from last year, scoring a three-day team total of 845 in 2008 at in Victoria, and 874 in Hamilton. Lackey said a lack of team practicing puts Queen’s at a disadvantage among other OUA competitors.

“I think our practices just aren’t up to par,” he said. “Three hours a week; certainly not as much as other teams.”

The Landings golf course in Kingston provides the Queen’s golf program with free play and driving range access during the season.

Lackey said the gesture eliminates the financial burden that green fees would otherwise have on a student budget. He said balancing the academic priorities of the team’s eight members is what puts them in the rough.

“It’s huge for us because without their support we’d be paying for every bucket of balls and every round.” he said. “It’s just scheduling that’s our biggest problem.”

The tournament marks the last event for the 2008-2009 Queen’s squad. The team will begin next season without star and captain Patrick Forbes, who graduated in the spring.

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