ACAC Golf Championship Preview

ACAC Golf Championship Preview

by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips

Camrose Golf Club and Desert Blume Golf Club hosted the 2017 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) North and South Regionals and now it is RedTail Landing Golf Club's turn to host the 2017 ACAC Golf Championships to be held September 30 - October 1, 2017.

Located in Nisku, according to the official website ,"RedTail Landing Golf Club, a prairie-links-style golf course was built with the focus solely on golf on all 234 acres. All 18 holes are laid out with strategic bunkers along with generous, wide fairways that provide a superb challenge for any level of golfer."

RedTail Landing Golf Club golf pro Joshua Davison, said Mother Nature will be a key factor this weekend.

"It all depends on what the weather is like, especially the wind," said Davison in a telephone interview Wednesday. "Wind is always the key factor. Our fairways are quite generous and wide but when you miss…that is where you are going to get into the fescue (grass) which is tall and wispy.

"There are also some length issues which make the course awesome. If the wind is light, the players will light it up, if the wind blows, it will be the courses biggest defense."

University of Alberta Augustana Vikings

Head Coach: Bill Penny

ACAC Men's Titles: 1

Men Top 10 finishers: Michael Harrison 3rd +7 ACAC North Regional, 1st - 1 ACAC South Regional; Braden Clarkson 7th +10 ACAC North Regional, tied fourth +4 ACAC South Regional

Women Top 10 finishers: Cieanna Hewitt 10th +49 ACAC North Regional

"With Michael Harrison playing so well and Braden Clarkson, Darion Geddes, all returning from last , and Carson Roche also playing so well, which is a nice surprise for the team, I am quite excited going into the championship round this weekend at RedTail. We have four guys capable of shooting 75. The women's side is the same as last year (Cieanna Hewitt and Darcie Benoit) and they will be out there competing hard," Bill Penny.

Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder

Head Coach: Kevin MacAlpine

Men Top 10 finishers: Connor Beeston 9th +15 ACAC North Regional

Women Top 10 finishers: Kassidy Turcotte 6th +36 ACAC North Regional, 3rd +23 ACAC South Regional

"For the men's team, I think they are all capable of being in the top 10 or 15 range but everyone has to firing at their best. Connor (Beeston) has been the most consistent in tournament play and he has learned to not let the pressure get to him.

"We do not have a girls' team and Kassidy (Turcotte) is our only girl. She is still training and improving. In tournament play (ACAC South Regional) she was relaxed and that is why she was third. She will be trying to qualify again for (PING CCAA Golf Championships) where last year she placed 14th," Kevin MacAlpine.

MacEwan Griffins

Head Coach: Jodi Campbell and Alan Riley

ACAC Men's Titles: 7 ACAC Women's Titles: 9

Men Top 10 finishers: Josh Gorieu tied 1st +6 ACAC North Regional + 6, tied 4th +5 ACAC South Regional; Justin Berget tied 4th +8 ACAC North Regional, tied 4th +5 ACAC South Regional; Noah Lubberding tied 4th +8 ACAC North Regional; Christian Solkowski 9th +14 ACAC North Regional, 3rd +2 ACAC South Regional

Elizabeth Stewart, GMU Griffins Golfer

Women Top 10 finishers: Elizabeth Stewart tied 2nd +26 ACAC North Regional, 1st +13 ACAC South Regional; Hailey Turcotte tied 2nd, +26 ACAC North Regional, 7th +32 ACAC South Regional; Daniela Donnelly 4th +27 ACAC North Regional, 4th+25 ACAC South Regional; Nicole Schultz 5th +33 ACAC North Regional, 5th +26 ACAC South Regional; Rachel Wiebe 8th +41 ACAC North Regional , 8th +37 ACAC South Regional

"This is one of the strongest (women's) team we have had in a long time. There is no question that they all can contribute on any day. With the season so short, you have to have the momentum and they do. Elizabeth Stewart (ACAC women's individual champion 2015-2016) shot a 74 in her second round (ACAC South Regional ) which is one of the best in our team history (Megan Vermillion shot at the 2013 Bear Mountain Collegiate Golf Championship).

"Historically with the men, we have been at the top of the leader board and this year we have a good battle with Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Augustana. We will rely on our depth and we have two solid returning players in Christian Solkowski and Josh Gorieu ," Jodi Campbell.

Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Head Coach: Trevor Moore

ACAC Women's Titles: 1

Men Top 10 finishers: Matthaus Taylor tied 1st +6 at ACAC North Regional, tied 4th +4 ACAC South Regional

Women Top 10 finishers: Sierra Zukowski 7th +38 ACAC North Regional, 6th +29 ACAC South Regional

"With Nicole Schultz and Sierra Zukowski, they have both got better each weekend and they are in position to make some noise. We also have Ciara Bonogofski who was injured for the first two tournaments…that will be in the mix. Matty (Matthaus Taylor) has played well all year and he has also matured all year and he is poised to make some noise. We have some inexperience in the younger guys but they are heading in the right direction. Braden Schacher, a fifth year player (Bachelor of Nursing) was unable to play with us but we will put him in the mix to support Matty and that changes things," Trevor Moore.

Portage College Voyageurs

Head Coach: Dan Geran

"We will only have three players going down Silas Makokis, Colton Cardinal and Marwan Smaiel, so we will not be competing in the team events. Silas has been around the top in both events (tied 25th +28 ACAC North Regional, 17th +13 ACAC South Regional) . This provides them some exposure to golf along with the experience of traveling and playing on these great golf courses in Alberta," Dan Geran.

Red Deer College Kings & Queens

Head Coach: Scott Bergdahl

ACAC Men's Titles: 2

Cole Morrison, RDC Kings Golfer

Men: Top 10 finishers: Cole Morrison 6th + 9 ACAC North Regional, 2nd +1 ACAC South Regional; Justin Loro 8th +11 ACAC North Regional, tied fourth +4 ACAC South Regional

Women Top 10 finishers: Shaye Leideniuius, 1st +22 ACAC North Regional, 2nd +15 ACAC South Regional; Bradie Ouellette-Pillman 9th +46 ACAC North Regional , 9th +56 ACAC South Regional; Paige Tichkowsky 10th +62 ACAC South Regional

"We have a really strong men's team and at our first event we shot even par which would put is in the top five nationally if we did it over five days. The quality is there but is needed to be seen if we can do it over two days. We are sitting six deep with the men's team but Cole (Morrison) will unfortunately not make the Saturday event due to a death in the family.

"Shaye (Leidenius) is playing quite well for the women and it will be a three-way race with Medicine Hat, ourselves and MacEwan fighting that one out," Scott Bergdahl.