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Wilfrid Laurier women's golf team wins first ever provincial title

The Wilfrid Laurier University women’s golf team captured its first ever Ontario University Athletics championship at Grey Silo Golf Club in Waterloo last month.

The Golden Hawks combination of Lauren Bevan, Kristi Godkin, Vanessa Lin, and Olivea Pope dominated the field, finishing with an overall two-round score of 450, 24 over par, in the Oct. 15 championship. The score beat second place University of Toronto by 18 strokes.

“It was definitely, I think, a surprise to all of us,” Bevan said.

Bevan, a fourth-year business student, finished first overall amongst individual golfers. She finished the two-round championship three over par (145), shooting a 74 in round one, and an even-par 71 in round two. It was a cold, windy weekend for golf, but Bevan said she was focused on playing her game despite the conditions.

“[It’s the] same conditions for everybody, you play your game and you move on. Hopefully, you end up doing as well as you can,” she said.

Bevan recorded five birdies in her second round, and became the conference's individual women's champion, winning the Judy McCrae Trophy.

“It feels really good, obviously it’s bittersweet, because it is my last year. So I’m leaving, but it was a great way, obviously, to end off the season. I love my team, the girls are great,” she said.

Lauren Bevan after winning the OUA individual championship. (Source: WLU)

Despite leading her team to their first ever OUA Championship and winning an individual championship at the same time, Bevan says after Nationals, this is the end of the road for her competitive golf career.

“I love golf. I love the social aspect of it. The competitive aspect of university was enough for me. So I’m just excited to go and have fun with it and just leisurely play,” Bevan said.

Golden Hawk Kristi Godkin finished in third place at the championship, with a total score of eight over par (150). Godkin got off to a great start, shooting a 72 in round one to lead the field. She fell off a bit in the second round, recording a 78.

Godkin has not been seriously playing golf for very long. She used to focus on hockey and only started with golf during the height of the pandemic.

“Just my parents both played so I was pretty bored and I decided I wanted to go out and play with them. So I started playing there and then just saw some potential and took a chance on it,” Godkin, who’s a third-year student at Laurier, said.

Laurier’s Vanessa Lin finished tied for ninth, shooting 13 over par (155); 79 in round one and 76 in round two. First-year Olivea Pope tied for 20th place, shooting 25 over par (167); 84 in round one and 83 in round two.

Lauren Bevan and Kristi Godkin are pictured with thier individual and team champion trophies on Nov. 14, 2023. (Colton Wiens/CTV Kitchener)


Head coach Jeff Colley said the team receives memberships from Golf North for the year, so they often practice at Grey Silo Golf Club. He said that kind of experience helped the team excel in the provincial championship.

“We definitely had an advantage for sure. Knowing the course layout, how to play certain holes, and just an overall sense of comfort at that golf course,” Colley said.

Colley also was awarded for his efforts, named OUA women's golf Coach of the Year.

It’s the tenth year of the women’s golf program at Laurier. During the season, the Laurier women also won the Western Invitational, McMaster Invitational and Guelph Invitational. The OUA title also earned Laurier Athletics its 80th provincial championship in school history.

Colley said it’s been a goal to win an OUA championship for a while now, and the women’s program has been improving each year.

“It has been one of the best in the country in the last few years. Probably the last three or four years. We’ve had a lot of good athletes come through before us to kind of set the tone for the program. But having Lauren here, who is the OUA individual champion, really helped,” Colley said. “The expectation to start the year was to win an OUA championship. We had all women come back except our team captain from last year, so I knew we were going to be very strong,”

On the men’s side, Laurier medaled for the fifth straight year at the event, earning a bronze medal with a combined two-round score of 13 over par (581).

Both teams have qualified for the 2024 national championships which will be held in British Columbia at the start of June.

“[We’re] hoping for a win. As a team that would be ideal. It’s definitely tough competition, especially with the B.C. schools. But we know we have the potential to do that as a team,” Godkin said.

Coach Colley is focused on winning again.

“The goal for next year is to win double, an OUA championship for the men and women,” he said.

He’d like to do the same thing at the national championships too.

“Our goal is to win a double championship there as well,” Colley said.


Wilfrid Laurier University wasn’t the only Waterloo-based school that performed well at the provincial championship. The University of Waterloo men’s golf team finished in first place with a two-round score of three under (565). They were the only team to finish under par, and were 13 strokes ahead of second place University of Western Ontario. Zach Burt shot three under over the two rounds (139), and earned the Len Shore Trophy as the conference’s individual men’s champion.

The Warriors women’s team finished in fifth place, shooting 63 over after two rounds (489).


A previous version of this story incorrectly said the OUA Golf Championships happened on Sunday, Nov. 12. They actually happened on Sunday, Oct. 15. The article has been updated. Top Stories

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