Alex Scott carries GVSU men’s golf to second-place finish at Findlay Spring Invitational

The team practices pitching the ball onto the green. The team participated in some drills on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017.

The team practices pitching the ball onto the green. The team participated in some drills on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017.

D'Angelo Starks

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The Grand Valley State men’s golf team was on the road once again this week, facing off in the Findlay Spring Invitational in Lexington, Kentucky, on Monday, March 26, and Tuesday, March 27.

The Lakers finished in a second-place tie with Maryville University, finishing with a total stroke count of 590 for +14 shots over par. Earning the top of the leaderboard was Indianapolis, which finished with a team score of 574—16 strokes fewer than the Lakers.

Entering the first day ranked in the top 25 in the GCAA national rankings, the Lakers were very much still within striking distance of first place. GVSU shot a score of 291, only three strokes over par and seven strokes behind first-place Indianapolis.

Alex Scott was the most impressive individual performer for the Lakers. Scott shot a 69 (-3) on Monday, good enough for a first-place tie after day one. It’s been no surprise to GVSU head coach Gary Bissell to see his top golfer compete this well on day one.

“Alex Scott keeps taking top five in every event he tees it up in,” Bissell said. “When you have a guy taking top five in the field, as long as everyone else doesn’t totally collapse, you’re going to be there. He’s really been carrying us so far.” 

Senior Domenic Mancinelli shot only one stroke over par, totaling a 73. Freshman standout Eric Nunn had a solid round, finishing one stroke behind Mancinelli with a 74. Mitchell White followed directly behind him with a 75, while Andrew Stevens rounded out the fifth spot with an 80 (+8) on the day.

Day two would finish nearly the same for GVSU, as the team shot a stroke total of 299, which gave them a two-day total of 590 for the second-place finish. Only one GVSU golfer improved upon their score from the day before. 

Scott remained solid after shooting a 73 on day two, giving him a two-day total of 142 for an individual second-place tie with Indianapolis’ Ian Carroll. Mancinelli had the second-best weekend of the five GVSU golfers, finishing with a 75 on day two for a two-day total of 148. White shot a 76 on day two, bringing the tournament total to 151. Nunn shot an 80 on day two to raise his score to 154, and Stevens brought down his previous 80 to a 75 to finish with 155.

Despite a solid performance by his team, Bissell knew that day two was the Lakers’ Achilles’ heel of the invitational. 

“Day two, the weather was a little bit worse, and to put it in simple terms, Indy just handled it better,” he said. “We had a couple high scores that really hurt us, and we didn’t handle the bad weather well. So, toughness is something that we are going to talk about going forward and also the ability to adapt.”

With the team and individuals racking up second-place finishes, Bissell is beginning to transition his team to crossing the threshold into achieving first-place finishes. 

“All five of Indy’s guys finished in the top 10 in the field. We only had one guy finish top 10,” Bissell said. “So, when another team’s five man is finishing top 10, it’s going to be tough for them to lose. We are going to continue to work with our guys, and we are also making a change in the lineup. We are going to put Bryce Messner back in the lineup this week and see if he can give us a boost.” 

GVSU travels to Columbus, Indiana, this weekend to play in the Wisconsin-Parkside Spring Invitational starting Sunday, April 1, and ending Monday, April 2. This will be the second-to-last invitational before the GLIAC Championships.