Lakers turn it around following sloppy start
Aside from battling the University of Michigan Golf Course itself, the Grand Valley State University women’s golf team also faced rainy, cold and just plain nasty conditions on Saturday and Sunday as they finished in 8th place at the Wolverine Invite.
“Certainly that affects the girl’s games, they are just not used to playing in that,” said GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux. “They haven’t played in it in several months. Conditions are the same for everybody and everyone has to deal with it. No one was ready for that kind of weather this early.”
GVSU and Ferris State University were the only Division II schools to compete in the 14-team field, as the rest were Division I foes.
The University of Michigan tied with Florida International University for first-place with a total team score of 930.
Meanwhile, Xavier University, the University of Illinois and Eastern Michigan University rounded out the top-five, each owning a share of third.
For the Lakers, Sunday’s final round featured their best team score of the weekend (315) on the par-71 course. Sophomore Kelly Hartigan and junior Veronica Ryan paved the way, each shooting 78. Senior Marni Weinstein shot her best score of the tournament coming in at 79, while freshman Gabrielle Shipley carded an 80.
The team made quite a turnaround following day one, in which the women played two 18-hole rounds. A team score of 663 had the Lakers sitting in 10th place looking up.
“It was definitely a good experience for the D-I tournament to have a completely different mindset and playing 36 and then 18,” Hartigan said. “Playing against the D-I teams, we can compete with them but it is completely different than when we play in our tournaments against conference teams.”
It was Hartigan who paced GVSU with rounds of 80 and 78 on Saturday. Her 236 two-day total, 23-over par, left her in a tie for 17th on the individual leaderboard.
While Hartigan carded the lowest first round score for the Lakers, it was Shipley who stepped up big in round two, shooting a 77, eight strokes better than her opening performance. Overall, she finished in a tie for 29th with a 242 tournament score.
“When I looked at everything I realized I had 35 putts in the 85 and only 26 in the 77, so that really made a big difference for me,” Shipley said. “I also noticed I hit a lot more greens when I shot 77 which is really good out on this golf course because you are setting yourself up for birdie and par that much easier.”
Showing improvement each round, Ryan came in with scores of 87 and 83 on Saturday, but Weinstein took a step back on the first day, shooting an 83 then following that up with a 90. Junior Cassady Kauble rounded out the GVSU competitors with matching rounds of 95, before finishing the tournament with an 89.
Also, competing as an individual, sophomore Molly Esordi finished the first day with a 197 total. She saved her best round for the final day as she shot a 93.
After two tournaments on the road, the Lakers head home this weekend to host the Gilda’s Club Laker Fall Invite. The field will tee it up Sept. 29-30 at Meadows Crossing Golf Course.
Pictures of the Year 2012-2013
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