Lakers head east, grab first place in New York tourney

GVL Archive 
Senior Sarah Hoffman

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Senior Sarah Hoffman

Zach Sepanik

The Grand Valley State University women’s golf team opened their fall season on Sunday and Monday with a first-place finish at the Michael Corbett Classic in Clymer, N.Y., at Peek’n Peak Golf Resort.

“I try not to have too many expectations coming into the first tournament,” said GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux. “We haven’t been tearing it up during qualifiers, but The Meadows is a very difficult course. I try to just take it as it is, but we definitely superseded any expectations I may have had.”

The Lakers shot a team total of 299 on the first day of competition. With colder temperatures and tougher conditions, the ladies followed that up with a 304 on day two. The fact that an 80 represented the highest individual score on the team on day two helped sealed the win.

The total score of 603 left GVSU looking down from the top at the rest of the field. They defeated runner-up St. Edward’s University of Texas by 13 strokes, a team they lost to by three strokes at the 2011 National Championships.

Senior Sarah Hoffman paced the Lakers, finishing the tournament with a score of 148, four-over par. Her scores of 72 on day one and 76 on day two was good enough for second place overall individually.

Meanwhile, freshman Kelly Hartigan, playing in her first collegiate tournament, also made some heads turns with her play. She shot a 75 on day one and 76 on the second day, a start that even her teammates noticed.

“This year we are playing for each other a lot more, than say, individually,” Hoffman said. “We have really good team chemistry and we are going out there to play well for ourselves, but to play well for the team too.”

Sophomore Veronica Ryan and juniors Ashley Beard and Marni Weinstein rounded out the top five for GVSU. Ryan shot a 79 and 74 on days one and two, respectively, while Beard shot a 72 and 80 and Weinstein shot an 85 and 79.

“One of our goals this season is to go undefeated,” Ryan said. “We knew we would be in the top two, but it was really great to win. There was still doubt in our mind heading in because one of the teams beat us at nationals. It was a huge win for us that we finally got back the pride from the team that beat us on our home turf.”

The team returns four starters from last year’s squad. Although young, with only one senior on the roster, the experience is definitely a huge asset. And with the promising play of Hartigan, the team is poised to make a run at improving their sixth place finish at last year’s NCAA Women’s Golf National Championships.

“We always take it one tournament at a time,” Mailloux said. “It is always good to beat top teams. We don’t look too far ahead and we’ll obviously going to build off the success that we had this weekend and roll with that.”

The Lakers head to Katke Golf Club in Big Rapids, Mich., on Saturday and Sunday to compete in the Ferris State Invitational looking to make it two-for-two in tournament wins this season.

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