GVSU edged for Motor City Invitational title

GVL / Kevin Sielaff - David Buko takes a swing April 29 at the Meadows Golf Course in Allendale.

GVL / Kevin Sielaff – David Buko takes a swing April 29 at the Meadows Golf Course in Allendale.

Mason Tronsor

The Grand Valley State men’s golf team ended its 2015 fall campaign with a tough second-place finish at the Motor City Invitational on Monday.

The Lakers finished with a total score of 624 (+48), a single stroke behind Wayne State’s 623 (+47). GVSU’s first-day score of 318 set it back, and, entering the final day, GVSU trailed the Warriors by 10 strokes.

The tournament came down to the final 18th hole. GVSU’s chance to complete the comeback was faltered thanks to WSU’s Crawford McKinlay, who holed-out from 130 yards out to earn an eagle and secure the tournament win for the Warriors.

“When someone holes out to beat you from the middle of the fairway, you just have to clap your hands for them,” said GVSU head coach Gary Bissell.

The course, as described by Bissell, was challenging. Hazards threatened to steal misplayed balls throughout the course. The fairways were smaller than other courses, and the greens were firm, lending the course to higher scores.

GVSU was once again led by two of its underclassmen.

Freshman Bryce Messner led GVSU, finishing in second place overall at the tournament with a 153 (+9), capping off a strong start to his college career.

The Hartland, Michigan native shot 79 on the first day, paired with a 74 the next day — the best round on the weekend for GVSU.

“My first day was a little shaky,” Messner said. “The conditions were tough so I thought I managed to do well on the second day.”

Sophomore Domenic Mancinelli also improved from day one to day two, turning in the second-best score for the Lakers with a 155 (+12)

“Tough layout, tough conditions and some simple errors are pretty easy to make out there,” Mancinelli said. “I thought I hit it better than my score, but it just wasn’t my week.

Junior Ted Rider helped the cause by shooting an 80 (+8) on the first day, and finishing strong with a 77 on the final day.

Redshirt junior Alex Nannetti posted a 163 (+19), salvaging a first-day 86 with a solid 77 on day two. Freshman Alex Scott participated as an individual for the Lakers, posting a 166 (+22). Scott’s score did not factor into GVSU’s overall score.

Thanks in part to his miracle shot on the 18th hole, McKinlay recorded the best individual score of the tournament to earn medalist honors with a 145 (+1).

“It is clear we can compete,” Bissell said. “We’ve got some adjustments to make during the winter. We’ll make a couple of improvements and change our mindset for round one so we can get a little better start.”

With the completion of the tournament, the fall portion of GVSU’s schedule draws to a close. The Lakers will return to the course in the spring for the second half of its season.