It all comes down to this.
On Friday, the PACWEST Golf Championships begin in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Over 54 holes, PACWEST golfers will fight for individual and team places at this year's CCAA National Championships, hosted by Medicine Hat College. The top two teams at this weekend's three-round event, hosted by Vancouver Island University, will earn the opportunity to play at the Desert Blume golf course in Medicine Hat, Alberta from October 15th to the 19th, with the top five individual golfers also earning a spot at the national tournament.
Royals assistant coach Mark Slota believes the team is heating up at just the right time. The opening tournament of the season was disappointing for the majority of the Douglas golfers in attendance, with rookie Dustin Franko putting a good performance together but the rest of the team ranking in the bottom half of the individual leaderboard and an overall last-place finish. But in the next two tournaments, the Royals finished fourth and then third, and look poised to make the next step up to second or first place, where they will earn their team a place at nationals.
"At the beginning of the year, our main goal has been to improve each and every week, and by looking at the results from the first three tournaments, we've done exactly that," said Slota. "Our commitment to refining our game and our continued preparation between tournaments with our Mental Performance Coach has our team trending in the right direction heading into the PACWEST Championships."
One of the highlights of the season has been rookie Dustin Franko, who already has two top-five finishes in his first three PACWEST tournaments. The most recent tournament, the 2018 UFV Invitational in Chilliwack, featured an excellent team performance from the Royals, with Josh Legge finishing eighth, and Travis LeClair and Jack Dickie posting their best scores and finishes of the season, but Franko wowed with a 146, finishing just four strokes off of the winner, Zach Olson.
"I know I have it in me to win," Franko said earlier this month. "My game is where I want it to be, so it's just a matter of time before I can put it all together and pull off a win."
Franko has played at the Nanaimo Golf Club twice, and shot an excellent 72 both times. "The course suits my game very well. I am really looking forward to the event, and hopefully I can post a solid three-day score to help my team qualify for nationals in Medicine Hat."
The 2018 PACWEST Golf Championship begins tomorrow and runs until Sunday, and is the final PACWEST golf event of the year ahead of the CCAA National Championships.