UNIVERSITY GOLF. It was the signing day, last Wednesday, for several hundred amateur golfers who will progress in the American university ranks from September 2020 and a Campivallensien is part of this vintage.
Olivier Ménard, who was dedicated to a golf career from his first swing at the age of 9, saw his efforts rewarded when he put his name on the bottom of a contract offered by West Virginia University for the four coming years. The young man accepted the terms of a scholarship which will allow him to play in the highest level of golf in the United States within the NCAA while pursuing a university training in administration.
Become the second hope of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield promoted in the first division of the “National Collegiate Athletic Association” in the discipline of golf, Olivier is one of the only two Quebecers to reach this plateau in anticipation of the 2020-2021 season. Campivallensien Francis Berthiaume was the first to carve out a place in Division 1 of the NCAA with Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama.
“It has been my goal since the age of 12 (to access the NCAA) and I am realizing this dream today”, rejoices the athlete who will celebrate his 20e birthday on December 9. According to the rules established by the NCAA, Olivier had to initial his contract between 7 a.m. and midnight on November 13, and this is what he did since the family residence in the Grande-Ile sector, surrounded by his relatives. The moment was immortalized in the presence of the journalist and the photographer of your regional weekly.
Other American universities have shown interest in the Quebec golfer, including San Diego State, Nevada and Toledo (Ohio). A visit in January 2019 to the campus of West Virginia University, located in Morgantown in the state of the same name, eventually convinced him to opt for the team of Mountaineers from the University of West Virginia, who welcomes more than 28,000 students each year.
A meeting with the golf team’s coach, Sean Covich, inspired him with confidence and Olivier also took into consideration the fact that “West Virginia” is competitive at the national level in Division 1, having finished 45e out of 300 universities last season. Ménard will be able to count not only on the expertise of two golf coaches but another for fitness and nutrition. Its school fees, its accommodation and its inherent costs in golf are paid by the university, food being the only expense not covered by the almost total scholarship (92%).
Olivier Ménard and his 8 Mountaineers teammates will compete in a dozen tournaments in the “Big Twelve”. During competitions that will take place in American states such as Texas and Oklahoma, in addition to exotic destinations such as Hawaii, 5 to 6 team members will be chosen on each occasion to represent “West Virginia”.
It was after dominating his age group each year in Quebec that the Campivallensien caught the attention of Golf Canada leaders who admitted him to the national development team for the 2018-2019 season. His time in British Columbia, where he rubbed shoulders with the four best junior golfers in the country on a daily basis, proved to be very beneficial for his career path.
Among his excellent performances, Olivier won a 7e position at the “Memorial Amateur” tournament in Sacramento (California) last May. In his last year of studies at Cégep André-Laurendeau before crossing the NCAA stage, he recently joined forces with those of his younger brother, Simon Ménard, to help obtain the silver medal. at the Canadian College Championship in Sorel-Tracy. In October 2018, Olivier helped Cégep André-Laurendeau to grab gold in this same competition in Alberta.
Currently listed at 1200e As one of the world‘s 300,000 amateur golfers, Olivier Ménard aims to improve this global ranking in 2020. At the end of his four years at West Virginia University, he would like to become a professional and embark on a career in his favorite sport.