The Smithers golf team poses at their first tournament of the season

The Smithers golf team poses at their first tournament of the season

Smithers golfers begin season in Lower Mainland

Five-some finishes seventh at inaugural 2014 tournament

The Smithers Secondary School golf club dusted the snow off their clubs and travelled down to the Lower Mainland to take part in their first tournament of the season two weekends ago.

They began with a warm-up match against North Delta Secondary at the Northview Golf and Country Club, past host of the Canadian Open.

Though they were still getting the rust off, the team cruised to a nine-stroke victory.

The team spent the rest of the week practicing and preparing for the Police High School Golf tournament, held at the Kingslink Golf Club in Delta.

At the tournament, Kaleb Gorbahn and Rhys Wilson led the way in the early going, shooting team low 73s. Halfway through, both players were tied for fifth overall in the 85-player event.

The following day they travelled back to Northview for the final round.

Gorbahn shot a team low 75 and finished fourth overall at the event, while Wilson followed up his round of 73 with a 78, for an eighth-place finish.

Skyler Stahel shot an 88-92-180, Jacob Cachia a 92-88-180 and Trent Monkman a 92-89-181.

Overall the Smithers team finished seventh in the 17-team event.

“It was a very successful start to the season,” head coach Dana Gorbahn said.

“Especially given that our golf course hasn’t even opened yet, while the rest of the teams that we played against have been hitting or playing over the winter and spring.”

As well, Wilson won the closest to the pin and the long drive competitions at the event.

It was the last tournament on the team for Stahel, who is moving to Prince George.

“We will miss his team spirit and attitude,” Gorbahn said.

Up next, the golfers will be joined by the BVCS golf team for a tournament in Terrace on April 26.

While the team was down in the Lower Mainland, Kaleb Gorbahn played solo at a Canadian Junior Golf Association event at the Riverway Golf Club in a qualifier for the World Juniors.

Kaleb had a solid first round, shooting a 71, just two shots off the lead.

In the second and final round, Kaleb found himself in the final grouping.

He fell off the pace early, dropping six shots back, but birdied three in a row to get himself into the mix again.

On the par five 18th, Kaleb was three behind the leaders in third place.

In order to get himself into the top-two to qualify for the Canadian and World Juniors, he would need to make an eagle and get a little help.

With the pressure on, Kaleb drove a perfect tee shot straight down the fairway, giving himself an opportunity to get up and down. His approach avoided a water hazard to the left of the hole and dropped within 10 feet of the pin.

“That was the best shot I have ever made in a pressure situation,” Kaleb said. 

Meanwhile, the leader’s second shot hit the water, but his third, a 65-yard approach, dropped three feet from the cup.

Gorbahn sunk his 10-footer for eagle and the leader made his three-footer for bogey, putting the two golfers into a tie for second place.

The second place finish was good enough to put Gorbahn into the CJGA championships, which take place in St. Catharines, Ont. later this summer.

“He was thrilled and pleased with how he competed over the two days,” Dana Gorbahn said.

Kaleb is graduating high school  this season and will attend Notre Dame on a golf scholarship next year.