GVSU golf team wins Perry Park Spring Fling

By Tate Baker | 3/23/14 9:15pm

While Michiganders continue to endure what seems like a never-ending winter season, the Grand Valley State University women’s golf team enjoyed the warm confines of Perry Park, Ky.

“It’s a challenge for us to go from constantly hitting and practicing inside to competing in a warmer climate,” GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux said. “With this being the first stop on our road trip, it was important for us to get out to a good start.”

The Lakers started off the two-day invitational in impressive fashion by posting a team score of 306 ( 18), four strokes ahead of second-place University of Indianapolis (310).

“We all started off smoothly, it was great to see,” sophomore Gabrielle Shipley said. “We were all looking forward to being able to play outside, rather than inside the turf building.”

Shipley led the way for the Lakers during the first day of competition as she carded a first-round score of 75 ( 3). Shipley was only one shot off the lead going into day two.

“She was extremely focused and played really well right from the beginning,” Mailloux said. “She hit the driver well throughout the two-day period, which allowed her to have a chance at several birdies.

“She took advantage of those opportunities and her score benefited from it.”

As a team, the Lakers were able to carry their momentum into day two.

GVSU cruised for a first-place finish with a total team score of 926, nine strokes better than second place UIndy.

“We were ecstatic to get this victory, especially at this point in the season,” junior Kelly Hartigan said. “We wanted to make a statement. Seeing that some of the teams we just beat will be in the upcoming tournament, I think that statement was made.”

Shipley continued to impress on Sunday by tallying two second-round scores of 75 to push her two-day total to 225, good enough to come away with a tie in first place.

“I tried not to think about where I was in the standings after day one,” Shipley said. “I knew I would just be more nervous if I knew where I was. Instead, I just focused on my game which really benefitted me in the end.”

Hartigan also got the job done for the Lakers with a first-round score of 76 ( 4).

The second day of competition yielded similar results for the reigning GLIAC Women’s Golfer of the Year, as she posted scores of 79 and 80.

“It really wasn’t how I wanted to finish but I cant be overly disappointed with the result,” she said. “I’m going to focus on what I struggled with this weekend, and hopefully those things won’t be an issue next tournament.”

The Lakers will now continue their road trip today and tomorrow when they travel to compete in the Bellarmine Spring Invitational in Louisville, Ky.

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