Lakers victorious at second-straight tournament

GVL Archive
Senior Travis Shooks lines up his putt during a past match.

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Senior Travis Shooks lines up his putt during a past match.

Jon Van Zytveld

Following its second-consecutive tournament victory, the Grand Valley State University men’s golf team ended its season on a high note.

Last weekend, the Lakers took first place in the Outback Steakhouse Invitational, hosted by the University of Findlay. In attendance were the top 12 schools from Ohio and Michigan, including GVSU, Ashland University, Tiffin University and Wayne State University.

After a first round suspension on Saturday due to excessive darkness, the Lakers returned on Sunday to finish the first round, as well as the final round. GVSU took first place, with individual Lakers placing in first, fourth and seventh.

“A lot of confidence comes out of winning, and last week we had success at the conference championship,” said GVSU head coach Don Underwood. “The team just kept playing well after that. They were hitting lot of good golf shots and handling themselves well. We had a few mistakes along the way that we’d like to try and correct, but overall, I think we did a lot of good stuff. We built off of last week and had another good weekend.”

After a first round tie with Ashland, the Lakers pulled into the lead with tournament totals of 293 and 290, 583 overall, to win by nine strokes. The nearest competitor was Tiffin, which came in second with scores of 303 and 289, 592 overall. Wayne State finished third in the tournament with a 597 while Ashland and host Findlay tied for fourth at 602.

Senior Travis Shooks, who placed first with a 140 (4 under) total led the individual leaderboard on the par-72 Red Hawk Run golf course.

“For the most part, the golf course wasn’t too difficult,” Shooks said. “It wasn’t too windy, so that makes it easier. The golf course is kind of set up like [GVSU home course] the Meadows, so we were pretty used to it. I played well, I putted well, and it was a good outcome. It’s always more upbeat when everyone’s winning. If the team’s doing well, it just makes the atmosphere a little bit better and can lead to a win.”

Sophomore Chris Cunningham, who won last weekend’s GLIAC Championship, finished in a tie for seventh with a 148 (4 over, 75-73).

“Back to back wins are always nice,” Cunningham said. “We have a few things to work on in the off season, but I think we’re good enough to aim for nationals.”

This event was a strong way to finish for the Lakers, who have had a successful season overall, ranking in the top five in the majority of their tournaments.

With this final tournament behind them, the Lakers are free to reflect on the season while preparing for the upcoming spring season.

“In the fall season, we had one weekend that we came out of feeling like we didn’t have a very good result, but the others felt like we had done a lot of good,” Underwood said. “Going forward, we’ll look to improve conditioning. In some cases, we’ll work on fundamentals that we’ll be able to correct and work on. When we get to the back end of the spring, we’ll have peaked and we’ll be ready to get into the National Championship.”

The Lakers will return to action in spring season with sights set on a national title.

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