The Humber varsity golf team has enjoyed a successful season start, driving towards a 10th straight provincial title.
Humber jumped right out of the gate this year, finishing third in the Division I Red Flash Invitational last week at Sunnehanna Country Club. Second year OCAA all-star Barrett McCarthy won the individual standings in the invitational, a promising sign.
“The team’s doing well, I’m happy with them, we went through training camp and we’re on track so far to meet our goals,” said head coach Nick Trichilo.
“The main goal is to win Canadians for sure. We’ve won provincials nine times in a row now so it’ll be nice to keep that streak going,” said third year business administration student Scott Benzoni, key player on the team.
Benzoni, who was named to the All-Ontario Team last season, sees himself as a leader and mentor for others.
“One aspect of my role is definitely to help the younger guys get a feel for what’s going on and what to expect.
“I’ve played a lot of the courses already too so it always helps to give them advice about that,” he said.
Humber now looks forward to the Canadian University-College Championship being held at Cutten Fields in Guelph May 26 to 29. Trichilo’s agenda for the early few weeks of the season ahead of nationals is simple, he says.
“As a whole, I’d say everybody’s a bit rusty on the pitching, chipping and putting, which is kind of normal after the winter break.
“Everybody has to work on their short game a little bit, and there’s different minor issues we’re addressing. That’s the importance of these first spring events, just seeing where we’re at and what we need to improve,” he said.
Benzoni also knows there’s still hard work ahead.
“I think a big thing with golf is having experience in different situations. Obviously, I can learn from what happened last year and looking forward, I just want to focus on trying to win,” he said.
Humber Athletics director Ray Chateau, former coach of the golf team, still keeps a close eye on the progress of the players coming through the program every year.
“They’ve put in a tremendous amount of work four, five days a week and even in the offseason in terms of conditioning and physical standpoint, they’ve put in time hitting balls and working on technical aspects,” said Chateau.
“We’ve been waiting for the breakout event for McCarthy. He’s shown the ability to be an elite level player and Scott Benzoni’s playing the way Scott Benzoni’s always played, good steady golf,” said Chateau.
Chateau adds he wouldn’t be surprised to see one if not both players potentially qualifying for the World Championships with a good performance at nationals.