'Stangs hit the links led by veteran threesome
By John Intini
The Western golf team has a couple new clubs in the bag this year which head coach Jim Waite hopes will put the team in contention for an Ontario championship.
The Mustang team, which will open up their short season in Windsor today at Sutton Creek Golf Club, consists of five starters and two alternates. Returning from last year are last season's captain Jordan Rose, the two low scores in the 36-hole qualifying, Brent Mizzen and top finisher Roberto Ramesar. Joining the team this year are Matt Bryce and Jeff Cunningham who were able to beat out the other 26 Western hopefuls at Sunningdale Golf and Country Club in London. The team's two alternates are David Pope and Jay Castelli.
"The strength of our team is epitomized by the fact that our captain from last year just squeaked into the top five," Waite said.
Western finished in fourth at the Ontario University Athletics championships last year but according to Waite and Bryce, this year's team look to be top challengers come early October in Kingston when the Ontario finals are held.
"Of what I've seen of the guys, we have a really solid team," Bryce said. "The scores in the qualifying were great and we should be top contenders at the OUs."
The season consists of three tournaments. After playing in Windsor today, Western will host the second tournament of the year at Sunningdale next Thursday. Then they'll head off to Guelph to compete in the last tournament and final tune-up before the championships, on Sept. 28.
Bryce, who has played at Sutton Creek, said the course is quite tight and one look at the results of last year's tournament shows the tourney could be quite difficult.
Each team sends out a team of five golfers in which the top four scores are counted towards a team total. Waite feels the top teams in the league this year include Queens, Windsor, Ottawa and Guelph in addition to his own club.
The stature of golf as a varsity sport is definitely a sore spot with Waite. Although he concedes more funding must be given to higher revenue sports, he is disgusted by its national stature.
"Not being a CIAU sport is ludicrous," Waite said. "Even college's have a year-end tournament on a national level and the most we have is the OUA finals. It's disgusting."
Attempts to improve the stature of golf are currently in the works according to Waite, who feels a big step would be to obtain a big name sponsor.