Hartigan leads the Lakers to a first place finish at the Ferris State Invitational
After a sixth-place finish at the University of Indianapolis Invitational and a third-place finish at the University of Ashland Invitational, the GVSU women’s golf team came into the Ferris State University Invitational looking to make a statement as the fall season approaches its end.
“We knew that this tournament was a great opportunity for us for another shot at the GLIAC teams that we struggled against earlier this year,” head coach Rebecca Mailloux said.
The Lakers got off to a hot start as they led second place Ashland by two strokes after the first day of the tournament. Junior Kelly Hartigan and sophomore Gabrielle Shipley led the Lakers through the first day as they both found themselves in the top five with first-round scores of 73 ( 1) and 75 ( 3).
“We really felt comfortable with the course right from day one of the tournament,” Hartigan said. “I think that really helped us settle in and post the scores that we had throughout the two days.”
The Lakers took full control on day two of the tournament, as they torched the competition, winning by 10 strokes with a total team score of 607.
“We definitely fed off of each other’s momentum at this tournament,” Shipley said. “You’re always going to have success whenever you have three people from the same team battling it out at the top of the leaderboard.”
Hartigan showed once again why she may very well be the best the GLIAC has to offer as she outlasted the competition, taking first place honors by six strokes with a final two-round score of 144 (E).
“I feel like I was able to find my stride early in the tournament, and I didn’t let up after that,” Hartigan said. “It’s a great feeling to be fortunate enough to come away with another top finish at an invitational against the rest of the GLIAC.”
The Lakers exuded their dominance as Shipley and senior Veronica Ryan were able to each post scores of 152 ( 8) to finish tied with each other for third place, joining Hartigan in the top five.
“We did what we had to do and gave our team a chance to win the invitational,” Shipley said. “We are a dangerous team when everyone comes together like we did at Ferris.”
The freshman duo of Julie Guckian and Britni Gielow posted scores of 159 ( 15) and 173 ( 29) to round off the starting five for the Lakers.
GVSU will now have two weeks off to prepare for the final event of the fall season: the Division II National Preview Rock Barn Invitational, which will be played at the Rock Barn Country Club in Conover, N.C.
“We won’t be satisfied unless we finish strong at the end of the fall season,” Hartigan said. “We are going to be facing tough competition in North Carolina. It’s going to be crucial that we focus on our mechanics in the weeks leading up to the tournament.”