UBC, Kozak capture golf tournament

With a result of 35-under par 829, UBC established a new school record for a 54-hole team score.

Vernon’s Conner Kozak and the UBC Thunderbirds rewrote the program’s history books Tuesday while repeating as champions at the 43rd Annual Western Washington University Invitational Men’s Golf Tournament in Bellingham.

The event was staged at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club, which played at par-72, 6,561 yards.

With a result of 35-under par 829, UBC established a new school record for a 54-hole team score.

Evan Holmes of Calgary now owns the T-Birds’ mark for best individual three-round score while Banff native Jack Wood tied the UBC standard for lowest round. The Thunderbirds also shattered the previous WWU Invitational tournament best of 18-under established by the hosts in 2001.

UBC had the top-three finishers in medalist play, led by Holmes at 14-under 202 after finishing with a 4-under 68 on Tuesday. It is his second consecutive tournament victory, with his first coming three days ago at the St. Martin’s Invitational in Olympia, Wash.

His 202 is two shots better than the previous program best, which was jointly held by Blake Rowe-Sleeman at the 2008 NAIA Region 1 Championship and Cory Renfrew at the 2009 Association of Independent Institutions conference championship.

Wood, who fired a tourney-best 8-under 64 Tuesday, moved up 13 places to tie for second at 9-under 207 with Kozak (72) and Cal State Stanislaus’s Michael Mencassy (71).

Wood’s 64 is the lowest score ever recorded by a UBC golfer. Rowe-Sleeman accomplished this feat twice in 2008. Wood’s total came on a par-71 course, while Rowe-Sleeman’s results were on par-72 layouts.

Kozak, a junior kinesiology student and Seaton grad, opened with a scorching 65 and carded a 70 on Monday.

Calgarian Scott Secord shot a 1-over 72 to finish in a tie for 13th at 2-under 214. First-year golfer Donald Qiu of Surrey, also shot 72 Tuesday and tied for 55th overall with a score of 14-over 230.

Victoria’s Nate Ollis competed in the event as an individual player, meaning his score didn’t count towards UBC’s total. He also earned a top-10 finish, tying for ninth by shooting three rounds of even-par 71 for 213.

The Thunderbirds have a week off before heading south again for the Concordia (Ore.) Invitational, Oct. 6-7, in Portland.