Dunlop scores a golf first for Niagara at OCAA title hunt

Consistency was the trademark of the 2008 Ontario Colleges Athletic Association’s individual golf champions Danielle Dunlop and Mike Zizek. Despite battling the elements, the golfers turned in two solid rounds to claim their respective titles at the Upper Canada Golf Course in Morrisburg.

Dunlop became the first Niagara College woman to claim the title after rounds of 74 on day one and 77 on day two to earn the championship title by one stroke. Dunlop defeated 2007 defending champion, Maggie Trainor of Humber, who closed to within one shot after posting a 76 on the second day but fell short and was forced to settle for silver. The Hawks Shauna Wilde rebounded well from her day one round of 80 and tamed the course on day two with the day’s low score of 73 to claim the bronze medal.

Humber women were dominant as a team again this year, placing four golfers in the top six, enough to celebrate their third consecutive women’s team championship title by a commanding 44 strokes over the Niagara Knights. London’s Fanshawe Falcons rounded out the championship leader board finishing 84 strokes back in third.

Mike Zizek would not be denied his championship title this year after settling for silver in 2007. The Humber College student lit up the course both days with rounds of 70 and 71 as he cruised to the men’s individual gold medal by five strokes. Teammate James Castle shot a 76 on day two to solidify his silver medal finish.

There was a log jam for bronze as four golfers from three different schools battled for the final step on the podium. Durham’s James Hoffman and St. Clair’s James Dorion turned in matching rounds, shooting 76 and 73 on each respective day. Durham’s Rob Lewis also finished with a final total of 149 after rounds of 74 and 75, also good enough to finish third overall. The final piece to the third place puzzle was completed by Humber’s Brett Pearl who turned in a second round score of 76 to go with his day one total of 73, forcing the four-way tie.

In men’s team competition, it was a close fight after day one, with Humber holding a narrow five-shot advantage. After day two, the margins widened and the Hawks flew away with their third consecutive championship title with 18 strokes between themselves and silver medal finishers Niagara College. Durham claimed the bronze medal in team competition sitting 21 strokes behind the leader.

In division men’s action, it was Peterborough’st Fleming College taking the title with a 12 stroke advantage. The battle for silver finished in a tie, but after applying the tie breaking rules, silver was awarded to Kingston’s St. Lawrence College and bronze to the Sudbury’s Boreal Vipres.

Golfers now head to Prince Edward Island to take part in the Ping Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) Golf Open Championship hosted by Holland College from Oct. 13-17. Golfers will tee off at the Fox Meadow Golf Club in Stratford, P.E.I.