‘One of the best teams in Queen’s history’

Men’s golf concludes a landmark season with top ten finish at the National Championships

The team won a gold medal at OUA’s in the fall.
Credit: 
Supplied by Josh Kim
Earlier this month, a five-player roster represented Queen’s on the green at the National Championships held in Montreal at Chateau Bromont Golf Course. 
 
The steep inclines of Chateau Bromont Golf Course, which is situated at the base of the Mount Brome, are challenging when the weather is nice. The five Gaels competing in the weeklong tournament fought through heavy wind and some rain to a 10th place finish. 
 
For Michael Von Schalburg, ArtSci ’22, and the rest of the gold team, their pursuit of a national championship began in the first week of September after a long winter. 
 
“If there was anything we were worried about, or should have been worried about, it was any sort of rust. That is the biggest factor when you are coming into a tournament in the spring,” Von Schalburg said in an interview with The Journal.
 
The Gaels didn’t let Canadian winters set them back. They entered the tournament with the confidence instilled by their Ontario University Athetics (OUA) gold medal finish just months earlier. 
 
“We knew we were good—we knew we had probably one of the best teams in Queen’s history,” Von Schalburg said.
 
University golf is unique because it necessitates teamwork and collaboration. Typically scored on an individual basis, golf leaves little room for creativity and strategy building unless played at the university level. The team embraced this distinction while competing. 
 
“There was a lot of brainstorming and group thinking going on about how to handle the week, about how to try and conserve energy, not only physical energy, but mental energy,” Von Schalburg explained.
 
The tournament lasted a week because golf involves more set up and preparation than a typical basketball or football game. The first day had the team do tedious practice rounds that lasted six hours, followed by daily rounds that last fivehours each. 
 
When time and energy are considered, it’s clear how week-long golf tournaments quickly become grueling tests of endurance with little room for error. 
 
“That’s just how tournament golf is. Every person is putting the maximum effort and focus into every single shot,” Von Schalburg said. 
 
The end of the tournament is marked by what is known as the cut. Only the top ten teams are allowed to fight on the final day of competition—Queen’s barely made it.
 
“There were four or five teams that were all right around the cut line […] and after the first or second day, winning the championship was maybe a little out of our reach, but […] our new goal was to make the cut,” Von Schalburg said.
 
It ultimately came down to a single stroke. 
 
“A single stroke over four scores, over three days,” Von Schalburg said. “One stroke, and it was very tight coming down the finish. We knew it was close.”
 
Coming through in this big moment clinched a spot inside the top ten.
 
“It reaffirmed that we are one of the top three or four teams in Ontario,” Von Schalburg said. 
 

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