Recapping 2023 on the links

Bisons golf season wraps up for winter

The Bisons golf season wrapped up for the winter with the CanWest Championships last week from Oct. 2 to 3. Hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades, the tournament was played at the Ledgeview Golf Club in Abbotsford, B.C.

The team finished seventh overall in the tournament, with rookie Jose Mekish-Lacquette topping the Bisons leaderboard, shooting an impressive +10 over the two days on the par 70 course. Mekish-Lacquette shot only two over par during his second day on the Abbotsford links.

Bisons veterans Lachlan Allerton, Cole Peters and Trent Robertson shot +16, +20 and +24 respectively, while second-year golfer Jordon McDonald shot +27.

In comparison with other prairie schools and when accounting for the fact the B.C. teams can essentially play the links year-round, the Bisons put in a good performance at CanWest. According to Robertson, the championship  was “tough,” as it rained “non-stop the first day.”

“There’s such fine margins and I just think we came out on the wrong side of those fine margins,” Robertson said regarding the tournament.

“Some guys did definitely step up in moments, like Jose and Lachlan played really nicely at times.”

While the championship was played on the same course over the tournament’s two days, in some United States-based tournaments, the herd would see a different course each day.

“It can help to play the same course a few days in a row,” Robertson said.

“It’s nice to kind of figure out your lines, but at the same time, sometimes you play those courses and you struggle on a course on the first day and then you get to the new course and you can kind of forget about the things that happened yesterday.”

For his own part, Robertson does believe sometimes changing it up is better for the mental side of the sport.

“My record on some golf courses, I’ve bogeyed or double-bogeyed the same hole,” Robertson explained.

“You get weird mental things like, ‘ah, I don’t like this hole.’”

As for the CanWest tournament, Robertson noted there were positives for the team, however the herd was not thrilled with the results.

“We’re not necessarily happy with how we played,” Robertson said.

“We love the support, but also it’s important that people know we do have a standard we’re striving for and we kind of failed, but while we failed, we learned a lot.”

As for what to improve on going forward, Robertson said the team already has plans for the winter.

Robertson also highlighted his teammates’ top moments of 2023, shouting out Jack Rudick’s day one performance at the St. Cloud Country Club course in mid-September, where he shot just three over par.

Robertson was also impressed by Allerton’s comeback in the Twin Cities Classic, where the veteran stormed back after going +14 in round one of the tournament, shooting one stroke under par his second day.

“Chase [Janas] put some good rounds together,” Robertson added. “Jose impressed me a lot. I think he’s got so much potential.”

Robertson also said golf coaches Derrik Goodwin and Devon Schade were completely supportive throughout the season and that “the team got a lot closer” as the season wore on.

As the team awaits a hopeful wildcard placement at nationals in 2024, Robertson believes the herd’s performance at last season’s tournament merits the Bisons a spot.

The Bisons made the cut during last season’s nationals for the first time since 2018. The team finished the tournament 10th overall, with Peters shooting +12, Robertson shooting +19 and Derek Benson shooting +28.

“I feel like we kind of earned a spot for nationals next year,” Robertson said.