By Sean Rooney on October 21, 2016.
It’s quite a different experience for Medicine Hat College golf veterans and rookies alike this week.
At the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championships in Prince Edward Island, the women’s team is on the verge of history. Becky Martin shot a 5-over 77 Thursday, hanging on to a one-shot lead over Georgian College’s Addison Wallwin entering Friday’s final 18 holes. Meanwhile, the women’s team including Martin, Danielle Blackmer and Nicole Schultz is fifth, but just four shots back of second place.
For Blackmer, in her third time at nationals, it’s a big change from being one of those teams just happy to be there.
“I’ve improved over this summer a bit, I have more confidence and now that we’re on the board â€”Taylor (Hallas) and I were 10th last year â€”that’s a big jump,” said the fifth-year lefthander, who’s in her last year of college eligibility. “That’s a good position to be in, too.”
Any experience at this level would’ve been new to Schultz, whose scores aren’t likely to be counted anyhow. Only the top two from each team’s round matter, though coach Trevor Moore has noted having Schultz playing well is a good backup for the two all-Canadians.
“At this level it’s my first nationals,” said Schultz, who shot a 92 in Thursday’s second round and sits 21st out of 29 golfers in the individual standings. “The competitive side is up there, you can tell people are out there to win. It’s really cool to see that.”
Blackmer shot an 87, falling to 16th overall but knows it’s the team standings she’s chasing on the final day. Ontario champ Georgian has two players in the top three and now leads the teams by 11 strokes; Humber is second at 29-over, University of the Fraser Valley is at 30-over, Cegep Champlain St. Lawrence is at 31-over and Medicine Hat is at 33-over.
Rain is expected Friday, which may change everyone’s situations dramatically. But there’s more to a championship than who wins and loses, and Blackmer in particular is trying to smell the roses while also keeping her competitive focus.
“I feel like it’s a bit of both, it’s my last shot at it,” she said.
In men’s play, Niagara College’s Josiah Dixon leads at 8-under after firing a 3-under par 69 Thursday. Rattler Braden Schacher shot a 5-over 77 to move up a few spots to 64th out of 78 players. Niagara leads the team standings as well.