By Sean Rooney on October 20, 2016.
She’s been on a national stage before, but now Medicine Hat’s Becky Martin is at its forefront.
Martin shot a 2-over 74 at Fox Meadow Golf Club in Prince Edward Island Wednesday, taking a two-shot lead at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championship.
“As far as I’m concerned you can’t win the tournament on the first day,” said the Medicine Hat College Rattlers star. “I definitely didn’t lose it, so I’m quite excited.”
The 54-hole event also features a team championship, where Martin, Danielle Blackmer and Nicole Schultz sit third, four strokes back of Ontario’s Georgian College. Only the top two rounds per day count, so it was Martin plus Blackmer’s 83 making up Medicine Hat’s Day 1 score. Schultz shot an 88.
“I had a good feeling after the practice round simply because everyone seemed quite comfortable with the course layout,” said coach Trevor Moore. “You could hear it in their conversations, it just fits their eye. That’s always a good sign.”
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Moore noted the 5,793-yard layout plays even longer because they’re at sea level. Add in some typical wind and it’s a good test, except that both Martin and Blackmer hit the ball a ton to make up for it.
“It was great weather, other than the gusty winds,” said Moore. “But that’s not a surprise and not a big deal for us.”
The CCAA’s press release noted “lots of rain” is in Friday’s forecast, which could make Thursday’s second round even more important. A complete rainout would reduce the event to 36 holes, making Martin’s opening-day lead that much more valuable.
The ex-NCAA player, now in her fourth year of CCAA eligibility due to injury problems over the years, bogeyed her first two holes but also made four birdies on the day. Georgian’s Emilie Tyndall and Cegep Champlain St. Lawrence’s Noemie Ouellette are tied for second place after shooting 76’s.
“I left a few strokes out there, but it is what it is,” said Martin. “Hopefully I can streamline the round a little bit better the next couple days.
I’m glad I put myself in position to actually have a chance.”
Also at nationals is Rattlers men’s golfer Braden Schacher, who shot a 12-over 84 Wednesday â€”though Moore noted he was 1-under over the last four holes. The men’s leader is Josiah Dixon of Niagara College at 5-under.