Print Edition: September 24, 2014
The fall semester means good things for Chris Bertram and his UFV men’s and women’s golf teams. The UFV golf program will take their talent province-wide in hopes of getting a chance to take back their national title.
The program takes place in four PACWEST golf invitationals over the season before the playoffs. Up to this point in the season, the Cascades have played in two of those four, and dominated the first, winning gold for both the men’s and women’s team. The second tournament didn’t go as well for the Cascades, who failed to capture first place in either division.
Cascader Kelly Dalzell, who has won back-to-back individual titles so far this season, is one of the dynamic returning players for the women’s squad, which had a significant turnaround for their championship team.
“Losing the PACWEST conference player of the year is tough, but that’s the way things go in university sports,” said Coach Bertram. “Thus far this season, Kelley Dalzell has really stepped up and filled those shoes and played some terrific golf. When you put that together with Jen Woods (2013 PACWEST and CCAA silver medalist), who can win any time she tees it up, we still have a strong core.”
Bertram added that the team had recently welcomed Natasha Mackenzie from TRU and freshman Hannah Dirksen.
“I am really optimistic about making another strong push for a national championship on the women’s side,” he said.
Coach Bertram refers to former conference player of the year, Dani Shap, who left the Cascades this off-season in order to pursue a career in pro golf.
On the men’s side, the team returns not only under Bertram’s leadership, but also that of their returning star Aaron Pauls. Bertram and Pauls spent their off-season travelling to the Swiss Alps for the World University Golf Championship.
Regarding the growth he saw in Pauls during the trip, Bertram said, “The experience was incredible for me personally, and for Aaron I think it gave him a chance to put himself on a global stage and see where his game stacks up.
“His 17th place finish at the World Championships was a really impressive accomplishment, and he is someone who could really take off in the months and years ahead. He’s going into his final year with us, and I know he wants to go out on top.”
The last big change this year comes not from the players, but instead from the coaching staff, who have added Jennifer Greggain.
“Jennifer brings to the table a wealth of playing experience at both university and professional level, and is already a well-established coach at the Chilliwack Golf Academy. We are so lucky to have her on our side, and she is already making a huge impact. It’s another step in the evolution of our golf program at UFV, and one that I am really excited about,” Bertram reported.
It looks like this upcoming year will be one we’ll all need to watch when it comes to UFV’s golf teams.