The women are taking a swing at it

Ladies hit the links as Concordia’s newest sports club

It looks as though the Stingers’ golf club will no longer be for gentlemen only. For the first time ever at Concordia, the club has an official competitive women’s team to play alongside the men in the annual provincial university tournaments.

Although the Stingers’ golf club always welcomed women to play, it never had enough women players to compete. Concordia’s golf club coach Ben Painchaud, who took over the program two years ago and coaches both the men’s and women’s teams, explained that the program has been rebuilt and revived.

“We’ve had one, two or three girls participate [in the club] before, but you need four girls to have a complete team and compete,” he said. “We’ve never had four women who were experienced golfers who could play in a competitive tournament but now we do.”

From left to write, Gabrielle Marois and sisters Nathalie and Jackie Pearsall pose for a photo op. Photo by Ben Painchaud.

The team was assembled at the start of the summer, and the new lady recruits immediately headed to the course in Blainville, where they practiced once a week for the upcoming season. The season, which lasts from the end of August to October, has both teams playing in three provincial university tournaments, two of which they have already played.

Jackie Pearsall, 19, is one of the four players that make up the Stingers’ women’s team. The other members are Gabrielle Marois, Alyssa McDougall and, Nathalie Pearsall.

As an experienced competitive player at the Beaconsfield Golf Club, Pearsall expressed how keen she was to be playing for her school.

“It’s exciting to be on the first ever girls team. Everyone is supportive and it is a really good group of people. The girls are amazing and, conveniently, we all click really well.”

The first tournament of the season was from Aug. 26 to 27 and kicked off just before school began at the Gatineau Golf Club, where 12 Quebec universities competed. The men’s team placed second and the women’s placed fourth.

“The Gatineau Golf tournament went well, although we did not place as well as we would have liked,” Pearsall said. “The guy’s team, contrastingly, did very well.”

“As the girls get more experience, they are playing better and I think every time that they beat a school they’ll be really pleased and motivated to do better,” Painchaud said about the tournament.

The results from the second tournament, which took place over the weekend at Le Victorien Golf Club in Mirabel, were once again strong for the men’s team as they tied for second. The ladies’ team, on the other hand, admitted they need to practice some more in order to get ready for the provincial championship.

“For the next tournament we are just aiming to improve our two team scores from the last two tournaments,” Pearsall said.

Given that it is the women’s first go at a provincial competition, Painchaud said that his concern lies more with them wanting to play, rather than winning.

“Part of building the program was getting four or five girls and making sure that they really want to stay and continue, so we’re not being very hard on them in terms of what place they finish,” he said. “As long as they feel part of a team and they enjoy competing. That’s the most important thing right now.”

The final provincial championship will take place from Oct. 4 to 7 at Club Laval-sur-le-lac.

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