GVSU finishes second at GLIAC Championship
Scott finishes in second place overall, Lakers almost complete comeback
The Grand Valley State men’s golf team finished up just shy of completing an impressive nine-stroke comeback in the GLIAC Championship from April 15-17. The Lakers claimed second place overall in the tournament, shooting an 893 (+29) in Nashport, Ohio.
The Lakers dug themselves into a hole early in the tournament, shooting a 307 (+19) in the first round. That score put them nine strokes behind Tiffin, a lead the Dragons would not surrender, winning the tournament.
The Lakers saw great improvement in rounds two and three as they shot a 296 (+8) and a 290 (+2). Their efforts to come back were not enough, however, as they lost to Tiffin by just one stroke.
“Over 54 holes of golf you can't point to one shot and say this is the reason we lost,” said GVSU head coach Gary Bissell. “Everyone could have saved probably four shots apiece easy.”
Freshman Alex Scott led the Lakers in scoring with a 216 (E) for the tournament. Scott managed to shoot four strokes under par in his final round. Not only did Scott lead the team in scoring, he finished second overall individually in the tournament, just losing in a playoff hole.
“Golf is a hard game to force,” Scott said. “I just went out there a little more relaxed and a little more like myself (and) I was able to play better.”
Sophomore Domenic Mancinelli (+14) and freshmen Mitchell White (+14) and Bryce Messner (+11) completed the scoring for the Lakers.
The Lakers were close to pulling off a GLIAC championship but left just a few too many shots on the course. The Lakers struggled to find rhythm early in the tournament and could never overcome the tough first round.
“We made too many small mistakes on the green,” Scott said.
GVSU's play on the green saddled it throughout the tournament. The Lakers' short game was an area of concern coming into this season and turned out to play a sizeable role in falling short of a comeback at the GLIAC Championship.
The score and heartbreak aside, the Lakers are still looking at this tournament as a positive learning experience.
“We learned how to overcome adversity and we definitely still made a leap forward going into super regionals,” Messner said.
The Lakers won the previous two GLIAC events, making the second-place finish a bit of a surprise.
“You’re going to lose close ones like that, it happens more often than you think,” Bissell said. “Hats off to Tiffin, they battled hard and held us off.”
The Lakers plan to attack practice over the next couple of weeks as they prepare for super regionals and finals. Bissell said the Lakers have to practice great time management skills and be willing to sacrifice a little free time for a chance at a postseason run.
The Lakers host the NCAA Super Regionals at The Meadows Golf Course from May 2-4.