Women's golf finishes fifth during trip to Houston

By D'Angelo Starks | 9/27/17 9:46pm

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GVL / Emily Frye Abbey Pierce at practice on Wednesday September 20, 2017.

The Grand Valley State women’s golf team traveled to Houston, Texas, to participate in the Dallas Baptist NCAA 2018 Preview Monday, Sept. 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 26. 

The Lakers took fifth place as a team, finishing behind Nova Southeastern University, Dallas Baptist University, St. Mary’s University and Tarleton State. 

GVSU faced some of the strongest competition they will have all season. Coach Rebecca Mailloux was pleased with how her team battled the field.

“We really had it going on the front nine,” Mailloux said. “At one point, we made it to within three strokes of the leader. We lost it in the last six holes. Overall, it was a good performance against what will probably be the strongest field we face all year.” 

GVSU finished with a team two-round score of 603(+27). The top individual performer for the Lakers was Katie Chipman, who finished with a score of 148(+4), good enough to finish tied for 10th. Samantha Moss, who turned in a final score of 149(+5), tied for 14th. Mackenzie Blomberg finished her tournament with a score of 150(+6), tied for 23rd. 

Mailloux focused on what her team did well in the tournament. 

“We’ve been working really hard with them about game and course management,” Mailloux said. “Just being able to play smarter golf. They are really, really close to breaking through and putting together a great round.” 

Mailloux was pleased with Blomberg during the tournament, one of the team’s top performers. Blomberg struggled during day one, finishing with a score of 80(+8), but was able to turn it around in day two, playing the best round of her career with a 70(-2) in the second round. 

Blomberg had much to say about what went right for her during the second round. 

“I was very confident with everything I did,” she said. “With every shot that I hit, I was very comfortable and calm standing over the ball. I hit the ball really well, and my putting was good. I gave myself a lot of chances, and everything started to fall into place.” 

Blomberg had one specific hole where she began to feel confident with herself and where she knew she would have a good round. 

“On 16 I had a birdie putt, and it was a pretty long putt, so our assistant coach was helping me line it up,” Blomberg said. “I was kind of questioning it, and he looked at me and said, 'Trust me. Trust it.' I hit it, and there was no question that I was going to make it as soon as it left my club.”  

Blomberg also spoke about how this performance will help her moving forward into the season. 

“Finishing the round is always something that I struggled with," she said. "Today I was able to stay calm and stay focused for the whole round. I wasn’t thinking about score; I was just thinking about the shot that I had to hit in the moment. I was taking it one hole at a time, one shot at a time.” 

Mailloux talked about what the Lakers need to improve to break through and perform to the best of their abilities. 

“Honestly, I think it’s just believing in themselves and their abilities to go low, believing that they are a team to be reckoned with and that they can finish under par every time they go out there," Mailloux said. "I think being in this position a couple more times will really help them believe that.”

The Lakers return home this weekend to host the ninth annual Gilda’s Club Laker Fall Invite. 

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