Athlete Profile: Shannon Rowan, Women’s Golf

Shannon Rowan prepares for a shot / Shannon Rowan

Shannon Rowan’s dedication and immersion into the sport of golf has allowed her to refine her game and deliver stellar performances in OUA play on September 24 and 25. Her consistent strokes and ability to stay calm and collected under pressure led to two individual championship titles at both the Brock Invitational and the Niagara Knights Classic.

Rowan has been a dominant force in the OUA golf circuit, capturing several medals and accolades in the two years she’s been on the team. Additionally, Rowan was also selected and played on the second OUA all-star team this summer which was an experience the young golfer described as an honour.

The Whitby native grew up on the golf course as her father, another avid golfer, introduced her to the sport at the young age of five years old. Her natural talents on the fairway and green were noticed and Rowan was encouraged to develop her skills by a community of supporters out of the Oshawa Golf Club. Spending her earlier summers in golf camps and then working at the local pro shop, Rowan’s day-to-day life revolved around honing her skills and mastering the sport.

“Sometimes my dad gets me motivated to [practice] but I do also have that drive. I know what I can do so I put in time and effort. I’m really nit picky with my swing and I’m specific with what I want it to look like it. I’m critical and like to know where everything is,” commented Rowan. Rowan owes much of her success to her personal golf coach, John Rushnell, who has been training her for several years now.

“Shannon has always been a very steady player but coming into this season she came back to school with a swing change that has made her much more consistent. Tara Savoie and myself have been encouraging her to make the change and most of the credit would go to her coach John Rushnell for seeing it through,” commented head coach, John White.

The third year kinesiology student has been a member of the women’s golf team since her first year at Brock and since then has won rookie of the year and two MVP awards while on the team.

Rowan’s scores have progressively been improving from tournament to tournament in her third university season. However, she struggled slightly at the Queens Invitational and recorded a performance Rowan knows was not her best. Since then she has bounced back and worked on her short game, ball striking, putting and staying mentally focused during long tournament play in preparation for the Brock Invitational and Niagara Knights Classic.

“I don’t hit the ball far and that’s why I am constantly working on my short game because all of my shots need to be accurate. My mental game is probably my strongest asset. If I hit a bad shot I care, but it doesn’t mess with my overall game and that’s such a huge part of golf, the mental game,” said Rowan. During the tournament, head coach John White stayed with Rowan as he recognized she was shooting a strong game. His advice in between shots helped Rowan stay focused despite the inclement weather conditions.

While on the eighth hole green, the horn was blown to pause the game while the players waited for the poor weather to pass. Rowan returned to her game after the wait to sink an impressive 10 foot put for a birdie putting her on an even par in the front nine. However, the dramatic play would continue as Rowan found herself in the rough behind a group of trees on her final hole after her tee off. Rowan defied the odds and made a brilliant stroke to put herself on the green where she calmly put for a par on the hole. Her closest competitor came away with a bogey on the same hole putting Rowan one stroke below her at a 73 at Hunter’s Point Golf Course.

“It was so nice to win here. I hadn’t won a college tournament yet and I’m so happy my first one was at Brock. I got to show that we can compete with all the other schools,” commented Rowan after the tournament.

Her outstanding performance also helped the Brock Women’s team win an overall silver medal. “I truly believe that Shannon will continue to improve and be a force for the remainder of her varsity career,” said White.

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