GVSU hosts, wins Gilda’s Club Laker Fall Invitational

Danny Schwartz

After placing ninth at the University of Indianapolis Fall Invitational earlier this month, the Grand Valley State women’s golf team placed first overall and hosted the seventh annual Gilda’s Club Laker Fall Invitational. The Lakers hosted 18 other teams at The Meadows golf course.

GVSU had the lead at the end of the first day and were able to keep that lead by the end of the second day. Out of 103 golfers competing, GVSU freshman Katie Chipman placed first overall, finishing -3 with a 70-71-141 final score.

“It was kind of just preparing the week ahead of time and getting ready,” Chipman said. “The practice rounds helped picking out the shots and looking at the greens and hole placements. What really helped me was knowing the day would be long, so the key was taking it one shot at a time.”

GVSU scored 300 on the first day and 298 on the second, finishing the weekend with a total score of 598. Findlay placed second with a final score of 604 and University of Indianapolis in third with a score of 607.

Freshman Sol Pose, who moved to Michigan from Argentina just one month ago, finished ninth overall, finishing with a final score of 150 (+6).

“I thought I played pretty good, but an area I really need to work on is on the greens,” Pose said.

Pose said one thing she found from her last match that she needed to work on was her swing, and that she has definitely improved it since then and it paid off this weekend.

Alex Taylor finished in 17th, scoring 155 (+11), while Samantha Moss tied for 18th, finishing with a 156 (+12) final score. Senior Julie Guckian had a final score of 159 (+15).

The two Lakers that competed as individuals, Alex Amos and Morgan Janke-Wolff, finished with final scores of 158 and 183, respectively.

Coach Rebecca Mailloux was very proud of her team’s performance this weekend:

“I thought they played really well,” Mailloux said. “Obviously with the freshman coming in on Sunday at 71 and 74 is huge. That’s just amazing playing from them under the pressure and as freshman. They’re still somewhat inexperienced so for them to come through makes a statement.

Mailloux said their ball striking was good, but they still need to work on their putting.

“There’s no reason we should be putting bad at home, we know these greens better than anyone else,” Mailloux said.

But one of the biggest stories coming out of this invitational was the reason for all 19 teams wearing pink.

“We name the tournament every year after the Gilda’s Club, which is a local and national organization that is basically a cancer support and grief community,” Mailloux said.

Gilda’s Club is a non-profit free service that helps any person that has cancer or knows someone that has cancer. It also helps with the grief of a lost loved one. Gilda Radner, who was a comedian and a member of the original Saturday Night Live cast, passed away from ovarian cancer, and after she passed away, the Gilda’s Club was formed in her honor.

All teams wore pink for the cause.

“We’ve always supported the local Gilda’s Club here in Grand Rapids,” Mailloux said. “The 19 teams in the invitational pay entry fees and instead of using the sum of those funds to get the girls T-shirts and other gifts, we take those proceeds and donate it to Gilda’s Club.”

The Lakers return to action at the Big Beall Classic in Findlay, Ohio Oct. 9-10.