GVSU men’s golf finishes third at regional tournament

GVL / Courtesy - Doug Witte
Senior Tyler Polulak

GVL / Courtesy – Doug Witte Senior Tyler Polulak

Josh Peick

After the first day of the Division II Midwest Fall Regional tournament, the Grand Valley State men’s golf team found itself in a familiar position. For the second tournament in a row, the Lakers sat in seventh place after the first day, eight strokes behind the leader.

Unlike last week at the GLIAC North Invitational, GVSU was unable to complete the come-from-behind victory. The Lakers finished with a total score of 608 (+32), good enough for a third place tie with McKendree University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

GVSU finished the second round with a team score of 317, 26 strokes higher than its first round on Monday. Although the scores suggest the Lakers played much worse on Tuesday, the numbers are skewed.

The weather conditions at Harborside Golf Club were not friendly to low scores on day two. The course, located on the south side of Chicago, is often affected by the wind coming off Lake Michigan. As a links-style course (little to no trees), wind is often the determining factor on the difficulty of the course.

The Lakers score of 317 was the fourth-best score of the day. The wind consistently sat at 25 mph with gusts reaching 35 mph. Not one team scored under 300 on Tuesday.

The Lakers simply dug themselves too deep of a hole Monday to orchestrate a comeback. GVSU had perfect conditions to record a low round, but were unable to jump into first as hoped.

“I don’t know that the course could play any easier than it did (Monday),” said GVSU head coach Gary Bissell.

Although two Lakers shot under par on the first day, neither of them cracked the top 15 individual scores.

Junior Alex Nannetti led the way for the Lakers, posting a two-day total of 150 (+6). Nannetti was one of two GVSU golfers to shoot a 71 (-1) on the first day of the tournament.

“The first day I felt like I played pretty well,” said Nannetti, who finished tied for 14th. “(I) Hit the ball great but I didn’t get many putts to go.”

Sophomore Domenic Mancinelli shot the other 71 for the Lakers. Mancinelli finished the tournament with a 152 (+8) and finished tied for 23rd.

Next up for the Lakers was freshman Bryce Messner. Messner, coming off a fourth place finish in the GLIAC North Invitational, fired a 153 (+9).

“My ball-striking has been pretty solid the past few tournaments,” Messner said, who finished tied for 33rd place. “It all depends on putting and chipping. If you get a couple to roll in, you can have a good score.”

Fellow freshman Mitchell White finished the tournament with a 155 (+11). Senior Tyler Polulak rounded out the scoring for the Lakers with a 160 (+16).

Ferris State finished in first place as a team with a total score of 597 (+21).

Kyle Kolberg from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside turned in the best individual score at 142 (-2).

Although the Lakers were unable to bring home first place, they are shaping up to be a force in the region. GVSU has a deep lineup that should continue to be around the top of the leaderboard for the rest of the year.

“I think that every coach would say that without question we are the deepest team in the region,” Bissell said. “At the end of the day, depth is a great thing to have, but we need two or three guys to step up and play a little better.”The Lakers will look to get back to their winning ways at the Motor City Invitational at TPC Michigan in Dearborn, Michigan. The two-day tournament will start Oct. 18.