The University of Manitoba Bisons men's golf team recorded a second place finish at the University of Alberta Invitational earlier this month at the Northern Bear golf course in Sherwood Park.
The Bisons #1 team which consists of Steinbach's Cole Peters & Stefan Lavallee along with Cameron McIntyre, Connor Stewart and Lachlan Allerton were just two shots back of the University of Fraser Valley.
"We've been waiting quite awhile to get out there and play some competitive golf so there were definitely some nerves," said Bisons head coach Derrik Goodwin who is also Golf Manitoba's Junior Development Team men's coach. "Everybody was a little bit nervous to get going on the first round. Definitely had to shake off a little bit of rust and kind of get back into the mindset of playing team golf. Competitive team golf is a little bit different than individual golf which they have all been playing for the last little while. Once they got a little bit more comfortable and got to know the course a little bit better, they figured out what works for them and what doesn't. They had a very strong second day so I was very happy with the finish and looking forward to continuing that momentum into our next couple of events this fall."
Peters, who honed his golf game at Quarry Oaks and is into his third year at the U of M, was the low Bison at Northern Bear as he recorded a 36-hole total of one-over par 145 and finished in second place in the individual competition.
"Cole's been a big leader for us off the golf course for the last few weeks leading into the season," Goodwin said. "He stepped up and wanted to take that leadership role. It was great to see him lead on the golf course to start the season as well. His game is really solid. He really doesn't have any weaknesses. He's just a really solid player. He's straight off the tee, hits his irons pretty solid and when he gets the putter rolling pretty good, he can shoot some low scores. He had the putter going and like I said that comes all back to confidence for him. It was nice to see him make some putts and shoot some good scores."
Lavallee was 79-73 at the U of Alberta Invitational.
The Bisons golf team is off to Priddis, Alberta this weekend for the Calgary Dinos Invitational then the team will compete in the Canada West Championship at Squamish Valley Golf Club in Vancouver on October 4th & 5th.
Goodwin, who took over the Bisons head coaching job when Garth Goodbrandson retired in the fall of 2019, said it was super exciting to get out and play after the 2020 university season was cancelled due to COVID-19.
"In a typical year we go down to the United States for a lot of our events so this is a bit of a different schedule for us playing all in Canada this fall. Our major event in the fall is our Canada West Championship which is against all the Canadian university teams so we typically don't get the opportunity to see them until that event. I think this is going to be a nice advantage for us moving into that championship this year to actually see what our major competition is like getting to play against the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta, Lethbridge, UBC, UBC Okanagan, the University of Victoria and not to mention the University of Fraser Valley who won that last event at Northern Bear. It will be great to see what the competition is like moving into that Canada West Championship and be able to model our game in the right situation to hopefully succeed there."
The U of M golf team also includes Trent Robertson, Nic Fanning, Brent Ingram and Derek Benson.
"At the end of the day, when you look back at your university time and playing for the team, the most memorable moments are going to be the moments you have creating friendships and being with your team and the bus rides out to events and the team dinners and stuff like that," added Goodwin. "If you can enjoy that type of stuff and just be yourselves and get yourself in a good frame of mind, that is definitely going to lead to some good enjoyable golf on the course which also leads to good scores."
photo courtesy Mike Lagace