GVSU women’s golf finishes third at NC4K Classic

GVL / Emily Frye     
Julie Guckian tees off on Sunday, Sep. 27, 2015.

Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye Julie Guckian tee’s off on Sunday, Sep. 27, 2015.

Brady McAtamney

The Grand Valley State women’s golf team finished in third place behind Indianapolis and Findlay in the NC4K College Classic hosted by Ohio Dominican in Columbus, Ohio at Jefferson Country Club. The event began Sunday, April 2, and concluded the next day.

Day one of the event wrapped up with the Lakers in second place 12 strokes behind the leading Greyhounds and nine strokes ahead of the Oilers.

Senior Alex Taylor finished the day one-over-par and tied for third place overall out of 96 total competitors. Two other Lakers landed spots in the top ten with sophomore Mackenzie Blomberg shooting four over par, good for eighth place, and senior Julie Guckian tying for ninth place at five-over. No Laker finished outside the top 20 on Sunday.

Unfortunately for GVSU, they would lose ten massive strokes to Findlay on Monday and fall into third place by a single shot. Indianapolis finished at 588, Findlay ended at 618 and GVSU sat at 619.

“If you had told me before the tournament that we’d finish in third, I’d be okay with that,” said GVSU coach Rebecca Mailloux. “Obviously Indy is ranked top-10 in the country and Findlay is, I think, No. 11 in the country so losing to them by one isn’t terrible, but we had a 10 shot lead going into the round. We played well (Sunday) and just didn’t have a good round (Monday). If the rounds were reversed, it’d sound a little different.”

Freshman Katie Chipman, who shot a 78 on day one, rebounded with a 74 on day two to finish in the top ten, tying for ninth place in the event. Both Taylor and Guckian were unable to improve on their strong opening rounds, putting up round two scores of 81 and 78, respectively. Taylor tied for 12th while Guckian tied for 14th.

Chipman struggled to find her shot coming into the event, but was pleased with her ability to rebound and contribute to the team.

“(The) first round I was okay with the score and second round I played a lot better, I was even for most of the day,” Chipman said. “It feels good to be back around par and shooting better for the team and putting up better scores. We’ve had more time to practice outside. I think this helped each one of us, being able to putt on an actual green and hitting on our own course will be nice. Things will start clicking later on the season.”

Overall, Mailloux would like to see her team focus more on the course rather than their opponents and felt as though doing that contributed to the Lakers’ fall from second place on Monday, though the disappointing drop was not entirely negative.

“The opponents’ ranks shouldn’t change your game plan. The other lesson that comes out of it is that we can beat Findlay even though they are No. 11,” Mailloux said. “I think they got a taste of what they needed to come out with next time we see them.”

The Lakers have seen themselves place in an array of different positions in various events throughout the season, finishing anywhere between first and ninth place so far in 2016-17. That relative inconsistency does not stop them from setting their sights high and aiming for the top when it matters, though.

“We just need to work harder. For golf, for practicing, there’s never too much practice. I think we all just need to make it that one step extra,” Taylor said. “We played well but they just played a lot better than we did. We just need to get on their level. I know we’re capable of doing that so hopefully we can just do that when it matters. You can print that. Indy should know that we’re coming for them.”

GVSU’s first shot at redemption comes Monday, April 10, and Tuesday, April 11, when the Lakers travel to North Canton, Ohio to partake in the JBMF Cavalier Classic hosted by Walsh at Glenmoor Country Club.