GVSU women's golf finishes eight at Barry Invitational

Guckian, Shipley lead Lakers in first tournament of spring season

By Brendan McMahon | 3/16/16 11:17pm

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The Grand Valley State women’s golf team began its spring season with an eighth-place finish, shooting a 901 (+37), in Miami at the Barry Invitational from March 14-15.

The Lakers have high expectations for the spring season after an exceptional start in the fall. They won four of the six tournaments they competed in and now find themselves ranked 18th in Division II, according to the www.GolfStat.com rankings.

The Lakers ended day one of the tournament in eighth place, after shooting a 599 (+23) through the first two rounds.

“After day one we were feeling pretty good,” said GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux. “How we shot at this point in the season, I can’t really ask for more than that.”

In the final round the following day, the Lakers shot a 302 (+14), to finish the tournament in eighth place — a performance to be pleased with.

The Barry Invitational was filled with 13 quality teams, including six of which are ranked among the top 10 in the nation. This tournament was a solid way for the Lakers to be tested early in the season by some of the toughest competition they’ll face all season.

“We knew it’d be a tough tournament coming out of the winter, facing a lot of the top teams in the division," Mailloux said.

Junior Julie Guckian led the way for the Lakers after getting off to a fast start in round one. She went on to shoot a 219 (+3), the 10th-best individual score for the tournament.

“It was our first tournament setting in a while,” Guckian said. “I went in open-minded and things turned out pretty well.”

Senior Gabrielle Shipley also played a big part in the Lakers' success as she scored second for the team, shooting a 223 (+7). Shipley struggled in the second round, but improved six strokes and shot under par in her final round.

“I just have to step out of my way and trust that I’ll golf as well as I know I can,” Shipley said. “It was good to get on grass again and get back into our routine on the golf course against some of the top teams in our division.”

Not only is Shipley a consistent top scorer for the Lakers, but she's also the only senior on the team and embraces the responsibilities of being a leader.

The Lakers' underclassmen contributed significantly as well, with freshman Alexandra Amos (+13) and sophomore Samantha Moss (+15) both scoring.

The Lakers faced and overcame their fair share of adversity in the first tournament. Unlike their opponents, who have already played in a couple of competitions and practiced all winter, the Lakers had limited time to prepare on grass. The Lakers also walked 36 holes in about a nine-hour span on day one.

“It was exhausting at times but kind of helped take my mind off the game a little,” Guckian said.

GVSU gained valuable experience from a challenging first tournament.

“This is the way we want to start the spring season," Mailloux said. “Despite the fact we came in eighth, we’re happy with how we shot. It was good to see different players step up."

Next, the Lakers travel to Perry Park, Kentucky to compete in the Perry Park Spring Fling from March 19-20.

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