The Heat are getting the chance to add some university hardware to their college medal this week at the national championship.

For the first time in its history, the UBCO Heat women's golf team is competing at the Golf Canada University and College Championship at Firerock in Komoka, Ont.

UBCO is taking the same lineup that won bronze at the Canadian Colleges Athletics Association event at Desert Blume last October in Medicine Hat.

The trio, led by the low scores of the rookie duo of Samantha Copeland (Calgary, Bishop Carroll) and Rebecca Reitsma (Kelowna, Aberdeen Hall), is complemented on the course by the senior leadership and steady play of McKenna Lesiuk (Kelowna, KSS).

Copeland has been named UBCO Female Rookie of the Year, a CCAA Academic All-Canadian, and the PACWEST Provincial Player of the Year.

"There will be a lot more competition at this tournament than we have had played in the past," Copeland said. "We will be matched up against some of the top teams in Canada. Most of those teams, like defending champ UBC and UVic, have been playing in tournaments these last couple of months.

"Our team hasn't played in a tournament since October and that lack of recent competition will likely be the most challenging part for our team as we are not as tournament ready."

The 72-hole tournament will consist of both a team and individual championship, with three scores counting toward the team total. The four-round event will see the field cut after the first three rounds of play to the low six female teams or any team within 15 shots of the lead. Teams and individuals within 15 shots of the lead will also make the cut.

Designed by Thomas McBroom, FireRock features captivating landforms, ragged, handmade bunkers and environmentally significant Savannah grasses. 

In 2018, Avril Li went wire-to-wire to capture the women’s individual title and help the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds to their third consecutive championship. Li was the only female competitor to shoot under par, finishing at four-under, a full seven strokes ahead of the competition.

Daniel Campbell of the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades captured the individual men’s title by shooting three rounds in the 60s during the tournament. Campbell’s play helped UFV win the team title, becoming the first host school to win the team championship since 2014.

The 72-hole stroke play competition will feature 20 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams from across the country vying for the national championship titles.

FireRock Golf Club, in southwestern Ontario near London, was selected by Golf Canada as the 2018 Future Links Facility of the Year.
Golfers will also have the chance to qualify for the World University Golf Championship.

—With Files from UBCO.

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