The Mustangs women’s golf team learned an important life lesson the hard way last week — all good things must come to an end.
“That’s golf. It just wasn’t our year. Some days you go out there and play lights out, and some days things just don’t go your way,” head coach Chris Dickson said after his team finished third at the Ontario University Athletics golf championships in Markham.
The University of Toronto became the first team other than Western to win OUA gold in women’s golf, while Queen’s claimed the silver, 10 shots ahead of the Mustangs. Taking home the bronze medal is a disappointment for the team that had won every provincial championship since women’s golf became an OUA sport in 2005.
“You go into a tournament to win. The girl’s expectations were to win and my expectations were to win,” Dickson said after the tournament at Angus Glen Golf Course. “Coming into the tournament the girls felt good and I felt good. We still thought we were the team to beat. [Not winning] is definitely a different feeling for the girls.”
Lisa Boyko (+24) led the charge for the Mustangs, finishing fifth in the tournament after shooting a combined 168 in her two days of play, including an opening round 79, which saw her miss just one fairway all day.
“She could have went really low if she had sunk a couple more putts —she could have been 75 or 76 that day,” Dickson said of the Mustang veteran who faltered on the second day of the tournament, shooting an 89. “The second day was perfect scoring conditions — it was 12 degrees and there was hardly any wind. Lisa’s ball striking just wasn’t as good and she started to miss fairways.”
Katie Lebel (+32) came in 10th on the leader board after shooting 176 on the tournament, while Caitlin Jennings (+38) finished 13th with a 182. Amy Williams (+52) rounded out the Mustang golfers in 18th place, shooting 196.
Lebel, who shot 88 on both days of the tournament, managed her 10th place finish despite playing the entire tournament with a broken foot.
“Who says female golfers aren’t tough? Katie’s a competitor. It’s not easy walking five hours up and down hills on a golf course with a broken foot,” Dickson said of the graduate student from Sarnia. “She’s a good player. She’ll be really leaned on as a leader next year. I know she’ll come through.”
In the eyes of many, 2009 should have been a rebuilding year for the Mustangs, who lost standouts Cheryl Beech, Stephanie Grenier, and Jennifer Mound. All three golfers played a major role in the team’s four consecutive OUA championships. Not so, according to Dickson.
“A lot of people called this a rebuilding year. I know a lot of the coaches from other universities were thinking that. We tried to use that to motivate ourselves,” the rookie head coach said. “These girls can really play golf. I would take a rebuilding year anytime if I was given these girls.”
We’re going to start the streak again next year,” he said.