GVSU finishes second in controversial SVSU Spring Invitational result

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.

D'Angelo Starks

The Grand Valley State men’s golf team recently traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, to participate in the Saginaw Valley State Spring Invitational. The two-day tournament—held Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18—serves as a good measuring stick for the team moving forward against several GLIAC rivals for the first time this spring. 

By the end of the event, GVSU wound up finishing in second place with a team total of 57—one stroke behind first-place (and host school) SVSU.

The Lakers didn’t get the best start to their first day, sitting in fifth place after shooting a 287 as a team. The team was led by the trio of Alex Scott, Domenic Mancinelli and Mitchell White, who shot 68, 69 and 74, respectively. After day one, the Lakers found themselves tied for fifth with Maryville University, looking up at GLIAC rivals SVSU and Tiffin University, and non-conference opponent Trevecca Nazarene University.

Luckily, the Lakers saw a big increase in performance from their fourth and fifth golfers, allowing them to shoot a lower score on Saturday to put themselves back in prime position to win the tournament. Scott had another big round, finishing with a 71, while Mancinelli followed suit and posted a 71 himself. Andrew Stevens improved upon the 76 he finished with on Friday and scored a 70, and freshman Eric Nunn had a solid round for the Lakers, shooting a 72 on the round. 

GVSU men’s golf coach Gary Bissell was pleased that his team stepped up their overall performance from day one to day two. 

“Day two, I thought we were more competitive,” Bissell said. “Sometimes, we’ve had an issue with coming out flat on day one. We’ve kind of always been a team that seems to finish strong rather than start well, but we need to start doing both.” 

Their second-round team total added up to 284 on the day, catapulting them from fifth place to a second overall finish in the tournament. 

The tournament did, however, end with a bit of controversy for the Lakers. White, one of the Lakers’ top three golfers, finished with a score of 0 on Saturday. White’s second-round score was disqualified because he signed an incorrect scorecard. When the scores were being added up, there was a miscalculation at some point, and because White signed it when turning in his card, his score was disqualified. 

If White’s score had counted, GVSU’s total score would have pushed the Lakers into the first-place position over SVSU. Still, after a big performance like this, it is easy to only look at the positives that come with a good team performance.

But coach Bissell still sees areas where the team needs to improve. 

“The two things moving forward are we need to come out a little more focused and aggressive in round one, and we still need some better play out of our four and five,” Bissell said. “They played good on day two , but we need them to continue to improve.” 

The Lakers will travel back to Lexington, Kentucky, this weekend to play in the Findlay Spring Invitational.