Pauls earns Universaide spot with podium placing

A strong performance at collegiate nationals has Chilliwack's Aaron Pauls heading to Korea later this summer.

Aaron Pauls has authored many memorable moments over the years with the University of the Fraser Valley men’s golf team. He made sure his last tournament as a member of the Cascades fit that description.

The Chilliwack native came into Friday’s fourth and final round of the Canadian University/College Championship at Cutten Fields in Guelph, ON. tied for the individual lead.

While he didn’t end up taking home the title, he did finish third to earn All-Canadian honours and secure a spot on Canada’s three-member men’s squad for the 2015 Summer Universiade.

That event will be held in Gwangju, South Korea in July.

Pauls and his UFV teammates, including fellow Chilliwackian Connor McLellan, combined to finish fourth overall.

Their coach, Chris Bertram was named coach of the year by the Golf Coaches Association of Canada, capping a much-decorated 2014-15 season which also saw him win the coach of the year awards for the PacWest conference and the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA).

“It seems like the coaching awards follow the success of the team,” Bertram said. “We have a good mix of players, and we have a good thing going in the program. It’s nice, and humbling, to get recognition for that.”

It’s the second straight summer that Pauls will represent Canada in international play – in 2014, he took part in the World University Golf Championships in Switzerland. This year’s national team berth is particularly special because Bertram will serve as head coach of the Canadian men’s squad at the Universiade.

“It was a pretty unbelievable experience last year (at the World University Championships), because I’d never done anything like that before,” Pauls said. “But this is kind of special in a different way, given that this was my last event as a Cascade. To be able to have one more tournament with Chris as head coach is special. This was my goal for the entire semester.

“I did what I set out to do at the beginning of this tournament, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

Bertram agreed.

“Aaron didn’t have his best stuff today, but in typical Aaron Pauls fashion, he managed to get it around,” Bertram said. “To come top three and earn a spot on this Universiade team, it’s just a massive accomplishment. He continues to set the bar for UFV student-athletes, and I know he’ll do a great job in Korea. I couldn’t be prouder.”

The UBC Thunderbirds won their fourth men’s team title.

The Victoria Vikes (+35) took second.