Liam Hamlin leads L.U. to medal winning golf performance
by Randy Pascal
Despite a little bit of a sluggish start, the Laurentian Voyageurs golf team is starting to gain momentum.
With new head coach Katie Doyle only formally installed in the position in early September, the crew took advantage of a series of events last
weekend to begin building some team chemistry. Initial results may have been mixed, but the L.U. lads certainly closed out with a bang.
Competing at the Guelph Invitational on Tuesday at Cutten Fields, the Voyageur men earned bronze medals, finishing just one shot back of
the second place Waterloo Warriors in a field of ten teams.
Liam Hamlin would show the way for the locals, capturing top spot with an impressive round of 69, one stroke better than Taylor Cosburn
of Guelph. Carding a 75, Nick Quesnel finished tied for eighth, with Dale Valade (77), Themis Vlahos (85) and Marshall Graper
(75) rounding out the Laurentian aggregate totals.
The Voyageur ladies found the elements a little tougher to handle, though they remain optimistic regarding the potential for improvement, committed to
working their way up the ranks in the years to come.
Lo-Ellen Park Secondary graduate Gracen Lacko topped the team scoring for Laurentian, finishing at 91, with Roxanne Mandamin (101) and
Emily Hreljac also donning the blue and gold in tournament play.
The highlight for the ladies team came over the weekend at the Cambridge Golf Club, with Lacko bettering her opening round of 95 by ten strokes
the next day. Hreljac shaved off one stroke (110/109), while Mandamin was consistent (97/102), the entire team looking more comfortable than their season
opener at McMaster.
Meanwhile, the Laurentian men were also in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, taking part in the UW/WLU Invitational. Once again, Liam Hamlin was
leading the charge for the northern golfers, completing round one at 73 (T-11th), with Nick Quesnel (76), Themis Vlahos (79), Dale Valade (80), Evan
Wright (83) and
Marshall Graper (84) hot on his heels.
A team score of 308 allowed the Voyageurs to sit eighth (of 12), three strokes behind the McMaster Marauders. A graduate of St Charles
College, Vlahos likely turned a few heads at the season opening 2018 McMaster/Mohawk Golf Invitational late last week.
His round of 77, on a course that Doyle described as a "tough track to play without having played it before", was the best of the day, from a Laurentian
perspective. Valade (78), Quesnel (79), Hamlin (81), Graper (83) and Wright (92) rounded out the men's contingent, with Lacko (94), Mandamin (103) and
Hreljac (123) doing likewise for the young ladies.
The Voyageurs will close out tournament play later this week, competing at the Ridgeback Golf Invitational at the Oshawa Golf & Curling
Club, and then preparing for the OUA Championships on October 15th and 16th, back at Heron Pines Golf Links, site of the initial McMaster