Greener Pastures ahead for gv

GVL Archive
Sarah Hoffman

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Sarah Hoffman

Melanie Huhn

Adding a fifth win to its season record over the weekend, the Grand Valley State University women’s golf team took home more than a victory, but also a lesson that every win won’t be an easy one.

The Lakers traveled to Pataskala, Ohio, last weekend for the Ohio Dominican “Give 18 Fore Cancer” classic, taking home the top spot. The team, ranked No. 10 in the nation, fought off regional competitor California University of Pennsylvania with a one-stroke victory.

Starting off with a comfortable opening round, the Lakers shot a combined score of 300, giving them a 13-stroke lead on the field heading into the second round on Sunday. Senior Sarah Hoffman tied her personal best this season with a 69, while sophomore Veronica Ryan followed in Hoffman’s strokes shooting the second best score on the team, 75, finishing the first round.

It wasn’t until the second day that women’s head coach Rebecca Mailloux began to worry after her girls slowly started to lose the lead. Consistency and lucky shots weren’t on the Lakers side the second day letting a few loose shots add up big numbers.

“Things just weren’t going right on the course that normally would, like making putts or hitting an extra shot here and there that weren’t there the day before,” Ryan said.

Even after lessening their lead with a few unlucky shots and bogeys, the Lakers prevailed, finishing the round with a score of 319. Hoffman finished fourth overall with total of 150 ( 6). The Lakers carded both rounds with the score of 619 to California (Pa.), 620. It wasn’t that the fact that they miss hit a few shots here and there it was the amount of points that they won by.

“The win was way too close for comfort but knowing that we can struggle as must as we did and still pull out the win is comforting,” Hoffman said. “Most of the regional teams and GLIAC teams were there, which made winning that much more important. It makes us very happy going into our post-season play to be comfortable with where we are at and we can improve on things from here.”

With a week of practice ahead of the team, head coach Mailloux knew the Lakers would pull off the win but saw areas to work improve. One of the more important aspects for the team last weekend was putting. Not one Laker putted lower than a score of 32 on the green, which ultimately led to the big numbers.

“Take it day by day, week by week, tournament by tournament and never getting too ahead of ourselves,” Mailloux said. “We are just working on the things we need to work on like our short game of putting and tweaking things here and there.”

When it comes down to it, the Lakers have the confidence to play their game and Mailloux advised them to take the season step-by-step.

“I told them from the beginning of the season to try and not look ahead,” she said. “It is a process and we don’t want to be at our peak performance at this point of the season.”

The Lakers will be back on the green this weekend traveling to Pana, Ill., for the Oak Terrace Spring Invitational on April 14 and 15.

“We learned that we are out on the course to not to just play and let it get to us but that we need to realize that we don’t have easy wins,” Ryan said. “It’s not all about playing for us, we really want to push ourselves farther than we can really go.”

[email protected]