By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
After a hot start to the OCAA championships, the Durham Lords golf teams both finished the tournament in fifth place.
The tournament, which consisted of six teams, and saw Humber College finish in first in both the men’s and women’s tournaments.
“The team did very well for having four freshman who are 18 years of age,” says head coach Michael Duggan. “The young guys did great and learned valuable experience moving forward for next year.”
For the women, he says it’s a similar situation.
“Playing as a team… there’s more pressure on them because they are a team of three and two scores count whereas the men are a team of five, and the best four scores count,” says Duggan.
In particular, the women’s team missed Julia Davis on the greens.
The first year freshman had an accident a few days before the championship, and suffered a concussion.
“It was hard for her to watch but she will return next year stronger, more focused and ready to get back to business,” says Duggan.
Duggan says the coaching staff are proud of both teams and the way they played, saying they grinded until the very end.
“But that’s golf. A bad bounce here, a missed putt there, and it can turn a round sideways in a hurry, so the mental side of the game is so important,” he says. “I always have my players walk tall, head up, and with a purpose. That is the difference from a freshman to a fourth or fifth-year veteran.”
He says the both teams were disappointed at the end of the tournament, especially after being in contention at the end of day one.
“We told them and they knew as well, you can’t win it the first day but you could lose it on day one, so they were excited but knew they had to come out strong the next two days to stay in sight of the leaders, and they know it was going to be hard to catch Humber and Fanshawe but their goal was the bronze medal,” says Duggan.
He says the players all felt they played well, and notes they all had decent scores, but it’s a difficult task to catch more experienced teams.
Ryan Trapp stood out for the Lords, finishing in the top 10, tied for eighth.
Duggan also noted Cody Clarke and Nathaniel Coombes, both in their first year, finished in the top 15.
For the women’s team, Devyn Fraser actually had the lead in the individual race at the end of day one, but Duggan notes it is difficult to come back the next day and have the same low score.
Duggan says Fraser held her head high, and stuck it out until the very end.
“I think these championships gave them vital experience for next year and the years to come,” said Duggan.
With the season now over, Duggan says the Durham golf team is always looking for potential new players, especially on the women’s team.
To find out more about playing or potential scholarships, contact Duggan at Michael.Duggan@dc-uoit.ca