Men’s golf team lead by returning talent

Archive Courtesy Photo

Matt Malloure takes a shot during a previous golf match.

Archive Courtesy Photo Matt Malloure takes a shot during a previous golf match.

Coty Levandoski

As the autumn leaves begin to pick and choose their seasonal colors, a changing of the guard runs concurrently within the ranks of Grand Valley State University’s men’s golf team.

Losing a tried and true leader with the graduation of Matt Malloure was a considerable blow to the team’s roster, but a closer look at the fall line-up may reveal that all is well on the Allendale fairways.

Sophomore Chase Olsen looks to be the heir to Malloure’s throne after notching a banner year last season. Earning the GLIAC Freshman of the Year honors for 2010, the first golfer in the history of the men’s team to do so, certainly primes Olsen’s candidacy for a lead role in the upcoming months.

“I’m obviously very proud of being named GLIAC Freshman of the Year in 2010,” he said. “But that’s last year, and I can’t just be satisfied with one good season. I see myself as a very competitive player, and I fully expect to grow from my experiences last year.”

With three freshmen joining the squad, Olsen will look to juniors Travis Shooks and Nick Gunthorpe for assistance in senior leadership. Gunthrope ended as the team’s top finisher at the 2010 Midwest/South Central Men’s Regional Tournament, and Shooks proved to be arguably the most consistent player on the Laker roster.

Youthful exuberance isn’t exactly a desired trait in a team that slowly slipped down the ranks as tournaments wore on last season. Even after a solid opening day at last spring’s Regional tournament put the Lakers in eighth place, the squad came to rest in 13th by the end of play.

Olsen said the only way to compensate for having such a young roster is constant practice and attention to detail.

“I actually moved up to Allendale for the summer to prepare for the fall,” said Olsen. “I practiced and played at Meadows as often as possible, which will hopefully show in our opener.”

The Lakers will have their first test Saturday in Kincheloe, Mich., when the team competes in the Lake Superior State Invitational.

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