W. GOLF TEAM PLACES 7TH AT NCAAS
It was a long grueling week of golf for the Grand Valley State University women’s golf team, which competed at the NCAA Division
II National Championship in Louisville, Ky. The Lakers were outreached and took seventh place on the final day of play at Persimmon Ridge.
Finishing the tournament, the Lakers came out with a four-day score of 1301 ( 149), with the team carding 339 ( 51) for its final round, which caused it to slip from fifth place on Saturday. Senior Sarah Hoffman finished in a two-way tie for fifth with a score of 306. Hoffman led the way for her team the last two round in the tournament.
During the beginning rounds, newcomer freshman Kelly Hartigan started off the week in a tie for eighth place and eventually rose to fifth place after the second round. She shot her best round of the tournament, a 74, on the third day, as well as Hoffman with a 73.
“We have been working hard all season and I started to peak these last few matches heading into nationals,” Hartigan said. “The course was challenging, especially playing it four days in a row but it didn’t seem to phase us.”
If it wasn’t enough that each team had to play the same course four days in a row, and GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux said the Persimmon Ridge course is considered one of the most challenging courses in Kentucky.
The Lakers found their swing in the middle of the week during the second and third rounds pushing them from sixth to third place after the second day. After their best overall team round of 315 on the third day, the Lakers fell into fifth, discouraging them heading into the final round on Saturday.
“Going into the final round, we were confident that we could reach third place because we knew second was a out of reach from where we stood in the points,” Hoffman said. “We were comfortable with trying to come from behind but it just didn’t happen.”
After the front nine on the final day, the Lakers seemed to be in the lead by “a lot,” Mailloux said. After coming out of the gate really strong, they were expecting a different outcome.
“Overall in the week it was not what we had set our goal for,” Mailloux said. “The final day all-around was just disappointing.”
With an overall finish of seventh, the Lakers won’t be disappointed with the year behind them.
“We can’t be disappointed about the year,” Mailloux said. “It’s an accomplishment that most don’t even get to experience. We had a good year as a team.”
After graduating Hoffman, the GLIAC Golfer of the year, the Lakers have some big shoes to fill before next year’s nationals. With a good freshman coming in, the team looks to repeat another national appearance.
“Sarah has made a huge impact on the team the last four years and we will take a hit next year,” Mailloux said. “We have a good freshman coming who is a hard worker. I certainly think we are in a good position for next year.”