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Golf season wraps up for Weir at nationals
Thursday, November 1, 2012
by Eliot Dix James
Thursday, November 1, 2012
It’s been a season of highs and lows for the Royals golf team, with star player Kate Weir named PACWEST Female Golfer of the Year but falling short of national supremacy at the Canadian Colleges' golf championships in Oshawa, Ontario, two weeks ago.
Not that placing fifth in the women’s individual standings, as Weir did, is any slouch. She hit a three-round 244 to finish 24 shots back of Valérie Tanquay from Champlain-St. Lawrence. Weir also faced stiff competition from Jennifer Woods of the University of BC Okanagan, who finished four shots ahead of Weir.
“I thought I had a good chance of winning it, or at least coming in top three,” says Weir, a third-year business student from Trail, BC. She was set back by a cold and shoulder injury going into the tournament, but ramped up her game after the first round. She opened with an 85 but finished off with rounds of 81 and 78.
The tournament capped a season with a young, promising men’s team, and a women’s team in flux — Weir played solo for the second tournament of the season.
“It was more of a developmental year for the team in general. Just trying to get other girls coming out and interested and playing more,” says Weir.
“Kate is a solid player and the leader of our women’s team,” says Kyle Baillie, Director of the Centre for Campus Life and Athletics. “As women’s golf in the PACWEST has struggled in recent years, we have had a number of committed athletes who have been the backbone of our program and put up some solid results.”
Weir laboured at the start of the season but finished on a high note. She placed second and then fourth in the first two tournaments. “My swing was a little out of whack. My short game was kind of rusty,” she says. She made up ground in the third tournament in Nanaimo, winning by 10 shots. By the final tournament in Chilliwack she came from behind on the second day and shot 73. “That was the highlight of my season,” she says. “That was my low round.” She was named PACWEST Female Golfer of the Week.
The four tournament PACWEST individual title went to Weir with a cumulative 634 stroke score, a huge 12-stroke lead over Jen Woods.
Weir cited the team’s long time coach Gert Van Niekerk as a presence on the green. “He’s really good at the mental side of it, trying to keep me in the moment and giving me support on the golf course,” says Weir.
She says of the men’s Royals team, “They’re great players, and with more work I think they can go to nationals next year.” And she has high hopes of recruiting for the women’s Royals. “We need to do more promoting for the golf team, at least for the girls,” she says. “There are girls out there who don’t necessarily play competitively but play for recreation and are decent.