Hawks make history at national golf championship

Photo by Luke Sarazin

The 2017 Canadian University/College Golf Championships took place from May 29 to June 1 in Barrie.

It was a historical week for the Golden Hawks, as the men’s golf team won silver, making it their highest finish ever.

It was also a proud moment for head coach Jeff Colley, as the Hawks fell just short of gold with a team total of 1213, trailing the current champions – the Laval Rouge et Or – who finished with a total of 1211.

The Hawks saw strong performances from all five of their players, with Mississauga native Eric Flockhart leading the way.

Flockhart placed sixth overall in the competition with a total of 15-over par 299.

“We definitely had a stronger team going into the nationals this year,” he said.

“Two years ago we finished fifth, which was our highest ever finish at that point, but this year our team was a bit deeper. All five guys we took could win individually if any one of us was at their best that week.”

“Going into the week, we definitely took the time to make sure we knew everything about the course and that we were fully prepared.”

The depth of this Hawks roster was on display throughout the tournament as Jaron Brown, Ryan Murphy, Austin Ryan and Andrew Cox all had impressive showings, with Austin Ryan finishing seventh overall in the competition, right behind Flockhart.

With the conclusion of the university/college championships, the focus for the Golden Hawks will shift towards the invitational tournaments leading up to the OUA championship tournament in the fall.

Last year, Austin Ryan won gold at the OUA Championship, while Flockhart put on a show in the invitational rounds, winning three straight gold medals for Wilfrid Laurier University.

This will naturally put a lot of pressure on Flockhart to repeat those performances this year.

“It’s just something you learn to deal with over time. I played five years of collegiate golf, with my first year playing in the NCAA. That was a big learning experience for me because team golf is a lot different than individual golf,” Flockhart said.

“Even though you’re playing the same round, you do have to remember the team component. Over the years of playing university golf, I got used to having the weight fall on my shoulders,” he added.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, Flockhart will not be back with them next year.

However, he was quick to mention that this team can win gold without him.

“I actually won’t be back next summer. I’ll still be playing golf in the OUA, but I’m going to Western for a master’s degree next year,” he said. “The Laurier team has some new recruits coming in. There’s at least one player that’s played in the US previously and he’s transferring to Laurier.”

“I think Laurier will have a very strong team next year and there’s no reason to think they can’t win gold.”

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