GVSU finishes ninth in Midwest Regional No. 4

GVL / Luke Holmes - Head Coach, Gary Bissell talks to the team on the practice green at The Meadows Golf Course Tuesday, Apr. 5, 2016.

GVL / Luke Holmes – Head Coach, Gary Bissell talks to the team on the practice green at The Meadows Golf Course Tuesday, Apr. 5, 2016.

Beau Troutman

The best golfers in the world got a taste of sunshine at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2016 Masters last weekend, and despite some wind, enjoyed decent weather throughout all four rounds.

Grand Valley State also hit the links that weekend—but didn’t quite have the same luxury.

The Lakers competed at NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament No. 4 at Purgatory Golf Club in Noblesville, Indiana, for their final regular season tournament from April 10-11, and capped off the regular season with a ninth-place overall finish in a field of 30 teams.

The teams endured heavy winds on the first day, which was followed by a downpour of rain the next day that dominated the entire second round.

“We just didn’t score well,” said GVSU coach Gary Bissell. “You can blame some of that due to the weather and course conditions, but at the same time, everybody was playing the same thing, so not really much of an excuse.”

The Lakers finished the tournament with a 613 overall team score, 13 strokes back of tournament-winner Northwood.

The Lakers carded a first-round team score of 308 and a second-round score of 305.

Bissell says the whole team had trouble with double and triple bogeys on both days. While some could be quick to blame the weather, Bissell says the team suffered from mental errors all weekend that ultimately were responsible for GVSU’s middle of the pack finish.

Redshirt junior Alex Nannetti led the Lakers with a 151 (78, 73), which was good for a No. 15 finish individually. Domenic Mancinelli shot a 153 (76, 77), Bryce Messner shot a 154 (75, 79), Ted Rider carded a 156 (80, 76) and Alex Scott finished with a 158 (79, 79) for the Lakers.

“We were hitting the ball well, it’s just those mental mistakes, those stupid errors around the greens that really hurt us this weekend. A lot of things that are easy to clean up,” Nannetti said.

The Lakers conclude a regular season that included 10 top-three finishes and three first-place finishes. The Lakers averaged a team score of 303.38 on the regular season, while Mancinelli led individually (74.83).

The Lakers have a few days to fine-tune their mental game, but will soon shift their focus to the GLIAC Championship in Nashport, Ohio. The three-round tournament begins on April 15 and concludes on April 17.

After the GLIAC Tournament is the Super Regional finals and then national competition, but Bissell says he’s stressing that his team take the postseason not just tournament-by-tournament, but round-by-round.

Nannetti says the team’s ball-striking ability is among the best in not just the GLIAC, but in the Midwest Region. To complement this, Nannetti said the older players need to help the younger players through the trials of the first postseason tournament of the year if GVSU plans on coming out on top.

But if there’s one thing the Lakers need to do in the conference tournament to come away with something better than a ninth-place finish, it’s simple: putt.

“Our team goes as far as our putters go,” Nannetti said. “We have five guys that are all very good ball-strikers on a week-to-week basis, so it’s one of those things that if putts are falling, we’re eliminating three-putts, it’s going to be good.”