Men’s golf posts ‘best effort of the year’ at Great Lakes Invite

Jared Greenleaf

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The men’s golf team has not been too fond of its two previous fourth-place finishes in recent tournaments. At the Great Lakes Region Invitational this past weekend, however, the team was more delighted with a fourth-place outcome.

Facing stiff regional competition, which featured 24 teams, Grand Valley State University fired a 590 team score to secure another top-five finish. The University of Indianapolis won the event, which was held by Northern Kentucky University. The Greyhounds posted a first-place score of 562.

Coming into Saturday’s round in 12th-place, the Lakers fought off fierce winds to score a 295 and move up eight places to fourth. The Lakers fired a 295 on Friday as well, but they also did not have to deal with the difficulty of the windy conditions on Saturday.

“(Saturday) was our best effort as a team all year,” said senior Anthony Provenzola. “Overall, we played the tough holes well because there were a few holes out there that could get you, especially with the wind kicking … We finally didn’t throw away shots for once, so I thought that’s what we did the best out there.”

With the huge move up the leader board on Saturday, the Lakers felt the finish they had was what they needed to kick-start the rest of the season.

“I think after (Saturday), we feel a little bit better because we moved up from 12th-place to fourth,” said sophomore Nick Gunthorpe, who led the Lakers again shooting rounds of 72 and 74 (146) to finish in a tie for 11th-place overall. “We’ll be going to another regional with the same amount of teams and after getting the second lowest round of the day, so I think it’s great momentum heading into the next tournament.”

The Lakers also got a strong showing from senior Matt Malloure. After not playing at the Wisconsin-Parkside Invitational last week, Malloure fired rounds of 73 and 74 (147) to finish in a tie for 18th.

Watching the team play during the difficult conditions presented in the final 18 holes, head coach Don Underwood could not have been happier with the final outcome.

“They played very well when it was windy,” he said. “Everyone kind of pitched in when they had to and they all kind of hung in there when it was tough. We still did some things along the way that were just mistakes but were correctable.”

Underwood mentioned lethargic putting as one of those mistakes the team made on a course in which the greens were not so difficult.

“You don’t want to be four-putting on these greens because they really weren’t that difficult,” he said. “Those are things that are just a matter of focusing on shots and being ready to hit shots and setting yourself up better.”

Next up for the Lakers will be the Outback Steakhouse Classic on April 24 and 25 in Findlay, Ohio.

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