UBC Okanagan Heat golf teams got off to a strong start in the first round of the Canada West Championships on Monday afternoon at the Cordova Bay Golf Club near Victoria.
The women’s team sits in second place in the team standings entering final round play Tuesday, Oct. 4, while the men’s team sits in third.
The Heat women, who finished with a silver medal a year ago, are challenging for the top of the leaderboard, sitting just four shots behind the UBC Thunderbirds after they combined to shoot 12-over par 225.
Leading the way for UBCO is rookie Khushi Hooda of New Delhi, India, as the first-year sits alone in third place in the individual standings after shooting a round of even-par 71. Hooda fired three birdies to go along with three bogeys in her first-ever conference championship round.
She is joined in the top-10 by three other Heat golfers, including Kendra Jones-Munk of Vernon and Kayleigh Trowman of Port Stanley, Ont., who are tied for sixth place after shooting rounds of six-over par 77.
Second-year Emily Cornwall of Calgary, joins them in the top-10, sitting eighth at seven-over par 78.
As for the UBCO men, they find themselves right in the thick of push for the podium as they sit at seven-over par 291 after the opening 18 holes, despite fielding four rookies who are competing in their first conference championship.
One of those rookies, Andrew Rouble of Wellesley, Ont., is leading the way for the Heat, along with senior Justin Towill of Kelowna. Both players shot identical rounds of one-under par 70 to sit in a tie for fourth place in the individual standings.
Rouble had a thrilling round, firing an eagle and four birdies, to go along with three bogeys and a double bogey. Towill was much steadier, finishing the day with two birdies, one bogey and 15 pars.
Rounding out the scorers for the opening round for the men are Luke Spencer of Tsawwassen, who is tied for 15th at four-over par 75 and Hunter Kutcher of Regina, who is tied for 19th at five-over par 76.