Not only was the University of Alberta Invitational the Bisons golf team’s first event of the season, but it was also the first tournament the team had participated in since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
From Sept. 12 to 13, 10 U of M golfers visited Edmonton, Alta. for the tournament. On the men’s side, two teams represented the Bisons. Out of 10 teams, team B finished in eighth place while team A finished second, two strokes away from the first-place University of the Fraser Valley.
Team A was led by Cole Peters, who finished second overall individually with a +1 shooting a par 72 in round two.
Bisons head golf coach Derrik Goodwin explained how Peters’s confidence and experience helped him and his teammates find success in this most recent tournament.
“The night before the first round, he was telling me he was feeling really good about his game and he was feeling pretty confident, and then he went out there and backed it right up,” Goodwin said.
“Cole has a lot of experience playing tournament golf […] through his junior career and his amateur career so far throughout the Manitoba events and stuff like that with Golf Manitoba, so Cole has a lot of experience that he brings to the team. He’s a leader on our team and he’s a team co-captain for us and it was nice to see him kind of step up out there and be our low guy and really show some leadership on and off the golf course.”
Peters’s performance at the tournament helped him earn Bison male athlete of the week.
On the women’s side of the tournament, Marissa Naylor was the lone representative for the herd. After an opening-round 79 put her only two strokes from first place, she would play an 84 the following day, placing her in fifth place.
After a decent tournament back, Naylor feels she’s in a good position to make some noise at the Canada West championship.
“For the first tournament back, first Bison season back since COVID, I couldn’t complain,” Naylor said.
“My first day was solid. I had two bad holes, but other than that, it was a really good round. [The] second day was a good round, too […] I just had three rough holes and unfortunately on a final day when you’re the final pairing with four tough girls, it’s hard to make it back.”
“Overall, I felt like I played well. I struck the ball well, I just had too many miscues.”
“I told [Goodwin] that if I can if I can place good this past weekend then that [would] put me in good position for [Canada West] and I think it really did, so I got that fire back in my belly, I guess you can say.”
“Two years ago, I placed eighth, and I would love to place top five there.”
The Bisons golf team will be participating in a few more tournaments before the start of the Canada West championships. Excited for what the future holds, Goodwin sings the praises of the Bisons golf team.
“For the rest of the year we have three tournaments that our team one guys will be playing in […] and then we’ll be heading up to Canada West,” Goodwin said.
“Our top guys are really strong players, and we’ve got a good crop of guys there that mesh really well together […] Hopefully we can just put it all together and be in the right frame of mind going into our Canada West championship, and I hope we can be right there and contend for a chance to win that event this year.”
“I feel very fortunate as a coach […] I’ve got 13 very good human beings and individuals that are really nice people on and off the golf course […] I’m looking forward to spending a couple more weeks with them as we move through our full season.”
The Bisons golf team plays next in Priddis Greens, Alta. at the University of Calgary Dinos’ invitational tournament Sept. 26 and 27.