Laker men's golf wins GLIAC North Invitational
Mancinelli, Messner pace deep GVSU squad in comeback victory
GVL/Kevin Sielaff Domenic Mancinelli warms-up before a practice match at the Meadows Golf Course in Allendale Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
After day one of the GLIAC North Invitational, the Grand Valley State men’s golf team was sitting in seventh place, disappointed in its performance and searching for answers.
The Lakers had a meeting in the team van. Maybe they’ll start doing that more often.
GVSU came out on day two and fired a team score of 282 – best of the day among all teams, and 17 strokes better than its day one score of 299.
The Lakers’ stellar day two performance catapulted them to the top spot in the rankings, and GVSU went home as back-to-back GLIAC North champions.
“First day we just seemed a little almost hesitant,” said GVSU head coach Gary Bissell. “We just didn’t really have great body language, didn’t seem ultra confident. We seemed almost too relaxed. There wasn’t enough intensity.
“Day two, I was really proud of them. There was a lot more intensity and they were a lot more focused. We can’t take any of this lightly – this conference is really good this year and for us to win we have to bring our best each and every week, we can’t just be out there trying to have fun playing golf just casually. There has got to be some intensity and focus and we were different right from the get-go on day two.”
Highly touted freshman Bryce Messner led the Lakers, shooting 72-70 over the weekend, good for a 142 (-2) and a tie for fourth place.
"It's definitely a big confidence booster. Even qualifying for the lineup is a confidence booster," Messner said. "If you qualify for the lineup, you know you're playing well, and to win a tournament you know you can play with the best."
Next up was freshman Mitchell White who tied with four other golfers for eighth place with a total score of 145. White’s improvement was the starkest of any GVSU golfer, as he shot 76-69. His 69 was tied for the lowest of any score on day two.
Senior Tyler Polulak provided a senior presence for the Lakers, carding a 147 (+3) and finishing tied for 17th place. Junior Ted Rider, brother of former GVSU standout Jack Rider, caught up to Polulak on the last day by shooting a 70. Rider also finished with a 147 and a 17th place finish.
Freshman Alex Scott rounded out the scoring for the Lakers, finishing in a tie for 23rd place with a two-day total of 150 (+6) and ensuring all GVSU golfers finished in the top 25 scorers.
Sophomore Domenic Mancinelli has picked up where he left off following the 2014 spring season. Mancinelli, a Plymouth, Michigan native, was named the GLIAC Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year last season. Over the weekend, Mancinelli worked his magic at HawksHead Links in South Haven, Michigan.
The sophomore, who competed individually and did not count toward the Lakers' score, fired a two-day total of 141 (-3) to finish in third place among a field of 80 golfers. Junior Alex Nannetti also competed as an individual, and tied White with a 145 for a fourth-place finish.
Every Laker improved their score from day one to day two.
"We changed our mindset," Mancinelli said. "We might have been a little too relaxed the first day. We had a good talk in the team van about how we have to get our act together. We looked like a new team the second day - looked more gritty."
Malone University finished just two strokes behind the Lakers, pulling in at second place with a total score of 583 (+7). Northern Michigan (593), Northwood (596) and Wayne State (598) rounded out the top five.
Malone's Jake Troyer fired a 137 (-7) to earn the top individual finish.