Russell Howlett continued his outstanding freshman season by leading the UBC Thunderbirds to top honours at the Cascade Conference Men’s Golf Championships in Oregon.
UBC finished four shots ahead of Lewis-Clarke State to secure an automatic berth into the NAIA Championships, slated for May 17 to 20 in Illinois.
The South Delta Secondary graduate and Beach Grove Golf Club junior product nearly took the individual title too, losing in a playoff to Bushnell University’s Andrew Webb.
Howlett (70-74-74) and Webb (69-79-70) were all square with three holes remaining in the 54-hole championship. Webb bogeyed the par-4 17th hole, but Howlett missed a par putt on the 54th hole – forcing the playoff.
Howlett found the rough on the par-4 first hole, but hit a short iron within 10-feet for birdie – but just missed the chance for the win. Webb, who lagged a 30-foot putt within five-feet, made the left-to-right breaker to extend the match. On the par-4 second, both players had long birdie putts and settled for par.
On the par-3 third, Howlett missed the green off the tee and was unable to get up-and-down – with Webb converting a three-foot putt to claim the league title and medalist honors.
It was back in October when Howlett did earn top individual honours by leading the Thunderbirds to the Canada West Championship.
UBC is slated to conclude its season at the Canadian University/College Championships in Quebec from June 1 to 4.