Bisons riding hot streak

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:10 AM ET

The University of Manitoba Bisons men's golf team is stacked and playing well these days.

That's some good timing, because the RCGA's Canadian College/University Golf Championships begin today in Cowichan, B.C., at Duncan Meadows Golf Course.

The five-member team is led by Brian Kornelsen, who won Golf Manitoba's men's match play championship last week. Also on the squad are three other players who won at least one match in the event.

Steve Bucko made it to the round of 16, Tyler Mancini got to the quarter-finals and Scott Markham qualified for the semifinals.

The fifth member of the squad, Kurt Scherle, couldn't compete in the match play tournament because of work commitments, but he's no slouch on the links.

Bisons co-head coach Garth Goodbrandson said the team's current play, plus the fact that they've all played in national tournaments before, bodes well. There are 20 men's teams in the tournament, including defending champion Humber College out of Toronto.

The Bisons finished third as a team last year in Ontario.

"It's an experienced team," Goodbrandson said. "They're all confident. They're all prepared.

"We know we can (win), but we just simplify it and tell them to control what they can control and not worry about what they can't control."

A Bison women's team, coached by Minnewasta pro Traci Zonneveld, will also be competing this week, but it will be without the services of standout Jill Hardy.

The goal of the five-member squad, consisting of Angela Klindtworth, Mindy Lichtman, Vanessa Watson, Faye Zachedniuk and Lexie McMahon, will be to get a taste of national-level competition.

"It's going to be a great experience for them," Goodbrandson said.

The tournament is four rounds long, but there is a cut after three. The top 10 men's teams and top four women's squads will play another 18 holes on Friday.

HARDY TRAVELLER: Jill Hardy isn't with the Bison women's golf team this week for a good reason: She's across the pond this week competing in the Ladies' British Amateur Championship with the RCGA's national women's amateur team.

The match play tournament is being held at Littlestone Golf Club in Kent, England.

There is a juicy carrot for the seven Canadian women competing this week, too. The golfer who advances the furthest will receive an exemption into the LPGA Tour's Canadian Women's Open, which will be held July 14-17 in Halifax.

BACK TO SCHOOL: There are 54 golfers playing in this week's Canadian Tour spring qualifying tournament.

The tournament begins today at Belmont Golf Course in Langley, B.C., and continues until Friday.

The CanTour will award seven exempt cards, with the next seven, plus ties, receiving non-exempt status.

There are no Manitobans in the field.

The CanTour kicks off the Canadian portion of its schedule next Thursday in Victoria with the first round of the Times Colonist Open.


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