GVSU takes first at chilly SVSU Invitational

Cunningham paces methodical Lakers in Kentucky

By Lucas Rains | 3/26/14 8:30pm

Courtesy / GV Sports Info Junior Jack Rider
by Courtesy/GVSU Athletics / The Lanthorn

Following a tough fall season, the Grand Valley State University men’s golf team won its first invitational of the spring campaign over the weekend at the Saginaw Valley State University Spring Invitational at Boone Links Golf Course in Florence, Ky.

GVSU posted an overall score of 600 ( 24) to win the 11-team event. Ashland University and Lewis University finished tied for second with scores of 607 ( 31). Wayne State University placed fourth, and SVSU came in fifth.

Senior Chris Cunningham carded a Laker-best score of 148 ( 5), which was good enough for a sixth-place finish at the two-day invite.

“It was very satisfying, and we didn’t have that great of a fall, so it’s definitely a good start to the spring season,” Cunningham said. “It was great getting a win under our belts, and hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”

Sophomores Tyler Polulak and Austin Eccleton matched each other all weekend with scores of 74 on Saturday and 76 on Sunday. They finished eighth individually at 150 ( 7).

Junior Jack Rider finished in a tie for 12th with his total score of 152 ( 9), while sophomore Chris Beltzer and redshirt freshman David Buko rounded out the GVSU finishers with scores of 162 ( 18) and 165 ( 21) respectively.

“We got pretty strong efforts from four out of our five guys,” head coach Don Underwood said. “The one thing that we got over the weekend was a lot of consistent play out of those four guys.”

Weather was a factor in Florence, but the Lakers found a way to play through the cold temperatures.

Mother Nature seemingly had no mercy on the golfers; it was a cold and windy weekend with wind chills in the 20s.

“They did a good job not focusing on the things they can’t control, like weather and golf course conditions,” Underwood said. “It’s very early in the year, and the conditions on the course are not what they’re going to be in a couple months.

“At least there was no snow.”

Up next for GVSU is the Wisconsin Parkside Spring Invitational held at Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Ind.

The Lakers have not had many opportunities to get outside and practice, but they have been doing what they can to prepare.

“We’re doing a similar routine that we have been,” Underwood said. “We’re hitting balls when we can and taking advantage of the facilities that we do have. We’ve got a little bit of indoor short game stuff that we can work on.”

GVSU plans to leave a day early for its next competition in hopes of squeezing in a productive practice round.

“It’s been hard in the spring season, not being able to hit off grass that much,” Cunningham said. “Going down the day before gives us a chance to hit off grass and play more golf before our actual tournament.”

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