Representing ConU at the 2015 CIS National Championship in Ontario
The Stingers golf season may have come to a close last month, but next season will tee off swiftly as the men’s team have qualified to compete in the 2015 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) National Championships for the first time ever.
After the Stingers men’s and women’s golf teams played their strongest season yet, coach Ben Painchaud says that qualifying for nationals this year is redemption for the team.
“Last year was difficult for the guys. They finished fifth in the conference and missed qualifying for the National Championships by three shots,” he said. “They worked very hard [this whole year] and didn’t take anything for granted. On paper we were a good team, but I think the guys wanted to come out strong, play good consistent golf and ensure that spot for nationals.”
By competing in the championships this year the Concordia golf team will attain its first CIS national ranking, which Painchaud says is an important aspect given a program revival was implemented in 2013 after the men finished at the bottom of the Quebec conference.
At the end of the three Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) events and the provincial championship this season, two Stingers placed in the top five of over 80 players who participated: Paolo Addona finishing third overall in the conference and Jacob Peterson finishing fourth overall. The two players were also named part of this season’s all-star team, which includes the four best conference players.
Having tied with and beat the top ranked golf team, Université de Laval, multiple times during the season, the Stingers proved that Concordia is a powerhouse.
“Being able to compete and beat Université de Laval and Université de Montréal was very encouraging [this season]. The guys definitely know they belong amongst the best players in the country,” said Painchaud.
This year’s CIS National Championship will take place in Guelph, at the Cutten Fields Golf Club in May 2015. In order to get a solid grasp on what to expect of the course, Painchaud and some of the team members travelled there and studied it closely.
“We have taken notes and measurements and we are beginning to formulate a game plan for that course. Google maps, pictures and the creation of a yardage book will be invaluable to team success,” said Painchaud. “We will be training in the Concordia Dome all winter.”
The week-long event at the end of May 2015 will include four rounds of competition as well as multiple practice rounds. Once the snow melts and the season springs forward in April, Painchaud will take his team on another trip to the course to further familiarize themselves with it and the city of Guelph.
“Personally, I will make sure that Concordia is the most prepared team at the event,” he said.