Women's golf swings back into season
Team takes down Ashland and seven others at Classic Club Invitational in Palm Desert, Calif.
GVL Archive / Eric Coulter
Senior Allie Tyler
After a winter of practicing indoors, the Grand Valley State University women’s golf team got back into the swing of things and recorded its first team win of the year.
The team comes off a victory in its most recent contest at California’s Classic Club Invitational. The team shot well on the second day of the competition, which culminated in junior Sarah Hoffman taking the first-place individual title and the team taking first place overall with a score of 638. On top of the victory, the team came back to beat conference rival and second-place finisher Ashland University for the first time this season, besting them by ten shots.
Hoffman said it was nice to see the team playing up to its potential in the second round of the invitational and noted freshman Veronica Ryan’s tournament low score of 74 in the second round.
“I think starting off on a good note is so important to just keep everyone’s confidence up and start our momentum high and just kind of roll with that,” Hoffman said.
Senior Allie Tyler said the team’s first-place finish at the Classic Club Invitational made a statement to the rest of the teams that GVSU has gotten better.
“I think that if we can just build off of what we did in California, I think we have a good chance of winning GLIACs,” Tyler said. “Obviously Ashland again is our toughest competition there, but I think we can beat them again.”
The team was ready to get back outside after spending two months hitting in the Laker Turf Building without an official tournament since October. Schools from states like Texas, Florida and California benefit from being able to play outside year round.
GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux said most of the teams that traveled to the Classic Club Invitational were from the north, which meant a more level playing field for teams getting back to outdoor golf.
“It’s not the hardest competition that we’ll see all year, but it’s not smart for us to go down and play these southern schools that have been practicing all winter and go head-to-head against them right out of the gate,” Mailloux said.
The team looks forward to competing against its rivals when Ashland hosts the GLIAC championships in April. Along with the chance to defeat Ashland again, the team also aims for inclusion in the NCAA Division II National Championships to be held at Grand Valley State University’s home course, the Meadows. The team will need to record a finish in the top three at regionals to qualify for the Division II National Championships.
“Obviously it’s great to be hosting at the Meadows. You’d like to think it’s an advantage playing your home course,” Mailloux said. “I mean, we should know that course better than anybody. You know we’ve got to get there first though.”
Although it’s early in the season, Mailloux said she cannot complain when her team finishes first place coming into the spring season.
“To have four girls shoot in the 70s the second time out of the winter season – I mean, you really can’t ask for more than that,” Mailloux said. “If they continue to progress like they did there, I think we’ll be fine.”
The team will next compete when they travel to Perry Park, Ky., for the Northern Kentucky Invitational on March 26.