Women’s golf finishes the season with a sixth place finish

Tate Baker

The Grand Valley State University women’s golf team used its previous meet as a scouting trip.

The Division II National Preview, hosted in Conover, N.C. served essentially as a warm-up for the NCAA Division II national championships, which will also be hosted at the Rock Barn golf club.

“It’s always nice to get to accustomed to a particular course, especially when nationals are going to be hosted there in the spring,” junior Kelly Hartigan said. “That particular course really wasn’t like any course we have played at before, I think it will definitely benefit us in the spring.”

After day one of the two-day tournament, the Lakers were positioned in sixth place with a total team first round score of 318. Leading the way for the Lakers in round one of the tournament was sophomore Gabrielle Shipley and junior Kelly Hartigan, who both posted scores of 76 ( 4).

“With it being the first time we played there, I think we had a good showing on the first day,” Hartigan said. “We definitely were able to get used to the style of the course on day two, which helped us finish out pretty good.”

The duo of Hartigan and Shipley continued to lead GVSU in day two of the tournament as Shipley posted a second round score of 74 ( 2), to finish 15th overall. Hartigan shortly followed as she finished her day with a score of 75 ( 3), to finish 16th overall.

“Putting out a good score on day one of the tournament really boosted my confidence,” Shipley said. “I rode out the momentum from day one and was able to finish strong. I was pretty satisfied with how I finished out the tournament, and ultimately the fall season.”

Staying consistent throughout day two of the tournament, the Lakers would retain their position to finish in sixth place out of the 12-team field. The freshman duo of Julia Guickan and Brittany Gielow, accompanied by senior Victoria Ryan rounded out the starting five as they posted second round scores of 81 ( 9), 85 ( 13), and 86 ( 14), respectively.

“It took a day or so to get used to the course but I thought all of us really can be happy with how we finished,” Gielow said. “This was a really hilly course, so that provided some issues, but it was definitely nice to play in nice weather for a change.”

The Lakers will now go into the winter portion of their offseason with anticipation to finish out in the spring as GLIAC, regional, and potentially NCAA champions. GVSU will now have four months off before they are back in action.

“I really don’t think we will have to make too many changes,” Guickan said. “We had a really strong fall season, hopefully we can focus on some minor things such as our mechanics this winter and start the spring as strong as we ended this fall.”
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