After having a successful 2016 varsity golf season, which culminated with a silver medal at the OUA Championships in Windsor in October, Sudbury’s Nick Quesnel will get a chance to tee it up with the country’s best in May. Quesnel was one of just five individuals and the first Voyageur since 2010 to be invited to the Canadian University/College Championship which runs May 28-June 1 at Tangle Creek Golf & Country Club in Barrie, ON. The event is run by Golf Canada and is a counting event for the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
The Championship will consist of the top 20 men’s and top 12 women’s college and university teams in the country battling for the title. Each men’s team consists of five golfers and the lowest four scores for the round count towards the team total each day. On the women’s side, the team consists of four players and the best three scores count towards to total each day.
There is also an individual competition, which is where Quesnel fits in. All of the golfers representing their teams will be competing for the individual championship as well. In addition to the 100 golfers on the various teams, only five additional young men from across the country were invited to participate in the individual competition.
While his silver medal at the OUA Championships was the result of his strong play, Quesnel is quick to acknowledge that his success this season was due in large part to the tutelage of his coach. “We have great coaches. Chad (Brousseau) puts an incredible amount of time and effort into the team and it was nice to be able to give him some good results throughout the season, especially at OUAs.”
Despite entering the tournament as an individual and the lone Voyageur, Quesnel feels the invite is about more than just him. “Playing university golf is much different. Even more than playing for your own individual merit, you're playing for your university, teammates and coaches. It was great to be able to go out this past season and do well for the team. In the OUA golf setting it means more to me to be able to lead the team and keep improving together than it does to do well individually. I’m really looking forward to representing Laurentian University, Voyageurs Athletics and the rest of the golf team at Nationals.”
As for his coach, Brousseau can’t stop smiling.
“First off, I am extremely happy for Nick to have had such a successful season highlighted by a silver medal at the OUA Championships and to now also have the opportunity to compete against the country’s best post-secondary players.”
Brousseau also sees this as a bit of redemption for his young golfer. “As significant as this is for the growth of our program, it is even more important to Nick, who was coming off of a disappointing rookie season back in 2015. He truly deserves to play alongside the best and showcase his skills as a member of the Laurentian Voyageurs.”
“The entire team is excited to support Nick,” says Brousseau, “as he represents Laurentian at this prestigious National Championship and we all look forward to following all of the action of this elite field. I am very proud of Nick and how far he has come, not only as a varsity athlete, but also as an individual, in just a few short years.”
Despite being just the third Voyageur to compete at the Canadian Championships, after John Atherton (2008, 2009) and Matt Bortolotto (2010, T-7th) teed it up doning the blue and gold, it is not Quesnel’s first foray into national level competition. “I’ve played at the national level before in the Canadian Juniors so it is exciting to be back in similar competition and to have another chance to prove myself against the best in the country. The field of players will not disappoint; the competition will be great.”
The players will have a practice round on May 28th before the Championship kicks off on May 29th. Quesnel will be guaranteed three rounds and, in order to play in the fourth and final round, he will need to find himself within 15 shots of the lead. A tall task for sure but, given his unprecedented 2016 season, it’s a task that Quesnel will be more than game for.