Four Lakers score in top 10 as GVSU men’s golf takes second at GLIAC Spring Tournament

GVL / Kevin Sielaff - Head coach Gary Bissell instructs Domenic Mancinelli April 29 at the Meadows Golf Course in Allendale.

GVL / Kevin Sielaff – Head coach Gary Bissell instructs Domenic Mancinelli April 29 at the Meadows Golf Course in Allendale.

Josh Peick

At the GLIAC Spring Tournament in Lexington, Kentucky, the Grand Valley State golf team finished the two rounds with four players in the top 10 in scoring. Despite their efforts, the Lakers finished eight strokes behind Saginaw Valley State for a second place finish over two rounds Monday, March 27, and Tuesday, March 28.

“That’s unbelievably rare for that to happen, for you to have four guys finish in the top 10 and not win,” said GVSU coach Gary Bissell. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before.”

The Lakers finished the tournament with a total score of 581 (+5) with four players factoring into the scoring. Domenic Mancinelli led the team with an aggregate score of an even par 144 for a fifth place finish.

“I didn’t hit it all too great, but I missed it in the proper spots,” Mancinelli said. “I made a couple key par putts and was able to keep some momentum going.”

Aside from the spring break tournament in Las Vegas, the conditions at Big Blue Golf Club in Lexington, Kentucky were the most conducive for scoring so far this season for the Lakers. The weather held up with idle threats of rain and a comfortable temperature in the upper 50s and low 60s.

With favorable conditions, the Lakers all scored between 71 and 74 in both rounds of the tournament. Mancinelli’s 71-73 was the low score for the Lakers with sophomore Bryce Messner following close behind with a 145 (72-73), good enough for a tie for seventh place.

Fellow sophomore Alex Scott finished in the top 10 for the second tournament in a row with a 146 (+2). Scott tied for ninth place while freshman Owen Rush finished tied for 17th with a 148 (+4).

“My ball striking was pretty good both days,” Scott said. “I hit a lot of greens and I wasn’t really putting myself in trouble off the tees. That just allowed me to keep the scores pretty neutral.”

While the roster is young in terms of age, the Lakers have consistently inserted underclassmen into the lineup, all producing low scores.

“I wouldn’t say that our team is young,” Bissell said. “We’re young in terms of classes, but we’re not that young in terms of experience. We have sophomores and juniors that have played as many events as most seniors.”

The lone senior in the lineup, Alex Nannetti, also tied for ninth place with a score of 146 (+2). Nannetti rounded out the Lakers’ top-10 finishers, but it was not enough to take home first place.

Saginaw Valley State matched GVSU with four Cardinals finishing in the top 10. Ryan Peruski led SVSU with a second place finish of 141 (-1), trailing only Cameron Lippoldt of Northwood. Lippoldt finished as the medalist with a 140 (-2).

“We just have to come up a little bigger in the big moments,” Bissell said. “We had this golf tournament today, and we just didn’t play well down the stretch. We just have to capitalize on opportunities a little better.”

In the first three tournaments this spring season, the Lakers have improved each week finishing fifth, third and second. The Lakers have only two more tournaments to find peak form before the GLIAC Tournament.

“(We just need to) sharpen up,” Mancinelli said. “I think everybody is officially knocking off rust and we should be getting our game into sound form going into the GLIAC Tournament.”

GVSU will compete in the NCAA Regional #3 at Hermitage Golf Club in Nashville Monday, April 3, and Tuesday, April 4.