GVSU women's golf shows promise in first invitational, finishing fourth overall
The Grand Valley State women’s golf team opened its 2017 season at the University of Indianapolis Fall Invitational. The Lakers started off the season strong, finishing fourth in their first tournament of the year.
The invitational was a two-day tournament, taking place Monday, Sept. 11, and Tuesday, Sept. 12.
The Lakers turned in a score of 306 as a team Monday and improved that number by shooting 298 during the Tuesday competition, adding the two totals to a stroke count of 604 (+28).
GVSU finished behind UIndy, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Dallas Baptist.
Freshman Olivia Reed performed the best individually for the Lakers, shooting a 76 Monday and a 74 Tuesday for a total score of 150 (+6). The total was good enough to finish tied for 15th for the tournament.
Coach Rebecca Mailloux talked about the positives she could take away from the team's opening tournament.
“One of the things we’ve been doing for the last week-and-a-half in practice is course management, hitting a number of different shots and trying to strategize our way around the golf course better and smarter," Mailloux said. "I felt like they all did that well the last few days.
“When we did mess up, it was just because of a bad shot, which sometimes you just can’t help. It wasn’t because of poor decision-making or any mental errors, just a missed shot here and there."
Mailloux then looked at the flip side of things and spoke about the areas in which they need to improve as a team.
“I think our weakness is birdie conversion," she said. "We had a lot of looks at birdies, but we didn’t make a lot. Our putting average was probably one of the weaker areas of our game over the last two days across the board."
Mailloux talked about the goals this year's team has set for itself.
“They want to be a top competitor for a national championship, and we’d like to make it back there,” Mailloux said. “We competed there last year and didn’t have our best performance. The players who were here last year want a chance to improve on that this year.”
Another goal Mailloux spoke about for her team going forward is to win the GLIAC title. Last year was the first time the GVSU women’s golf team didn’t win the GLIAC title in eight years. The Lakers are looking to get another streak like that one going.
Freshman Olivia Reed talked about her performance in her first collegiate tournament, saying, "I was super nervous. Usually, before the first hole I get nervous. I try to use that nervousness to my advantage to make me play better. Once I get through the first holes, I’m usually fine and feel normal after that.”
Reed went on to talk about what she felt was going right for her in this tournament.
“I would say my putting was really positive," she said. "I trusted the line and feel like I can keep going with that.
"Another thing would be not getting upset when things didn’t go as planned. I stayed positive and reassured myself that I can make it up later in the round.”
Although Reed was the team’s top performer and a top-15 finisher in the tournament, she still saw some things she needed to fix going forward in the season.
“With my second shot onto the green, I was kind of all over the place, and I want to get a little bit more consistent," Reed said. "I want to get closer than 30 feet from the hole every time.”
The GVSU women’s golf team travels to Big Rapids, Michigan, this weekend to play in the Ferris State Bulldog Fall Invitational Friday, Sept. 15, through Saturday, Sept. 16.