The Humber Hawks outstanding season is a surprise everyone should have seen coming.
By Elton Hobson
Amidst all the Humber Hawks teams making headlines early in the season, you might be forgiven for sleeping on the Hawks golf team.
But with the Ontario College Athletic Association golf championships teeing off Monday at the Roseland Golf and Curling Club in Windsor, Ontario, it may be time to wake up.
“We have an outstanding team this year,” said Hawks head coach Ray Chateau. “That may be a surprise to others, but not to me. We’re getting the results we expected: good, solid, consistent results.”
Consistency is something Humber’s golf program is very familiar with. They’ve won 10 of the last 12 OCAA golf championships, theoretically making them a lock to repeat as champions once again.
According to Humber’s athletic director Doug Fox, expectations were tempered this season for what Fox called a “rebuilding year.”
“We’ve always had a certain nucleus of players around whom we built our team,” Fox said. “Guys like Mark Hoffman and Adrian Cord, both of whom now play on the Canadian pro tour.”
“We’re starting with only Alex Dumais back on the team from last year, where we played at the [national championships],” Fox continued. “This is the first year where we are really looking at a lot of freshmen athletes on the golf team.”
While most would expect a comedown for a team fielding mostly first-years, Humber’s new crop of golf talent clearly hasn’t gotten the message.
Led by Quebec amateur champion Nicolas Fortin, the Hawks have put together a stellar 2012 campaign, which includes a team win over reigning European University National Champions University of Stirling, and even an NCAA tournament victory at Gannon University in Erie, Penn. last week.
“Nicolas Fortin is one of the best golfers playing collegiate golf right now, period” Chateau said.
The OCAA golf championship is being hosted by St. Clair College, and will be played on the famous Roseland golf course designed by Scottish architect Donald Ross in 1929.
The course is “quite challenging” according to Fox, and recently underwent a major renovation and facelift in advance of this year’s golf season.
“Roseland is considered a heritage site, so we had Scottish architect Paul Albanese come in to do a renovation. The idea was to modernize the course while ensuring the ascetic remained very true to Donald Ross’ original vision,” said Randy McQueen, head golf pro at Roseland.
“We put in several new tees at both longer and shorter yardages,” McQueen explained. “The idea was to attract kids and women, as well as make Roseland a more attractive option for hosting events such as the OCAA’s.”
The OCAA golf tournament kicks off Monday, and runs through Wednesday.
Photos in slideshow below courtesy of Humber Athletics.
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