It was a tale of two different seasons for both the men’s and women’s golf teams at SFU. While the women won the GNAC championship, the men finished below their lofty expectations, coming in third. However, head coach John Buchanan is confident that both teams will have successful years.
“I think that the women’s team are capable of repeating it. The men’s team, once you get through the regular season play, getting to regionals is just getting tougher,” Buchanan told The Peak. “There’s new schools coming in, and so they’ve got to get tougher.”
Golf is a different animal than other sports. It’s hard to create a general game plan for a sport that is as highly individualistic as golf. Once you’re out on the course, you’re basically on your own.
“There’s no offence or defence,” noted Buchanan. “It’s basically: you’re on the first tee, you’ve already played your practice round, you’ve made your notes, have you got the composure when you make a mistake not to make a bigger mistake?”
A major key to start this season will be the players’ form heading in. By NCAA rules, the team cannot start practicing and meeting as a team until September 9, and as a result players on both the men’s and women’s teams play tournaments leading up to the start of the season to get back in the swing of things. These results will be used as a “measuring stick” for the upcoming season, according to Buchanan.
One player that is expected to lead the Clan once again on the men’s side is Chris Crisologo. Last year, he won the GNAC Player of the Year award, and individually tied for third at the GNAC championship.
“Golf is a funny game, it ebbs and flows,” said Buchanan. “Expect[ing] Chris to shoot subpar every round is asking a lot. But I would be very surprised if he didn’t continue to be a number one player and have an impact in the conference. [He’ll] be a key player to help the guys get back to regionals.”
On the women’s side, Emily Leung is hoping to have another strong season. She was the winner of the GNAC Freshman of the Year award, and helped to lead the women to a GNAC championship.
“Well, when we started our season last year she won her first tournament, she was a major player for the season with her team,” added Buchanan. “When we went to the conference, she came in last in the team. It happens. She’s a very, very good player, [but] she’s going to have tournaments and rounds where she doesn’t click.”
The men begin their season at Saint Martin’s University on September 23, while the women start their season against Saint Martin’s on October 7.