GVSU women’s golf aided by Canadian duo

GVL / Kevin Sielaff - Alexandra Amos (left) and Alex Taylor (right) pose for a photo outside of Grand Valley’s Kirkhof Center on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL / Kevin Sielaff – Alexandra Amos (left) and Alex Taylor (right) pose for a photo outside of Grand Valley’s Kirkhof Center on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

Josh Peick

The Grand Valley State women’s golf team has only six spots on its 2016 roster. With Michigan known for its abundance of golf courses and quality high school golf programs, filling the roster in-state would be easy. Even with the local talent, GVSU continues to recruit out-of-state, and even out of the country.

Alex Amos and Alex Taylor, a freshman and junior respectively, fill two of the team’s roster spots, and both are from Ontario, Canada.

Recruiting in the Ontario area is nothing new for GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux. Ontario has very few girls’ high school teams, so the bulk of recruiting is through golf academies in the province, which is how Mailloux found Amos.

Amos played competitively at Medway High School in Arva, Ontario. Her team consisted of only three girls, which made exposure to colleges nearly impossible through high school golf. Her play in tournaments outside of high school got her the attention of college programs.

Amos was recommended by one of Mailloux’s contacts at a golf academy in the Ontario area.

“(My contact) sent me (Amos’s) information, gave her a good recommendation, and thought she would be a good fit for our program,” Mailloux said.

Since arriving at GVSU in the fall of 2015, Amos’s transition to golf at the college level has been seamless. She is averaging a score of 78.37, which is third-lowest on the team this season.

“Playing in the summer, you play against most of these girls anyways,” Amos said. “It’s a lot of the same competition.”

Amos’s early contribution has been key for Mailloux and the Lakers.

“You really can’t expect more out of a freshman coming in,” Mailloux said. “She has been a consistent member of our lineup.”

Fellow Canadian Alex Taylor had a similar high school experience to Amos. Taylor played competitively at Thorold Secondary School in Thorold, Ontario. Her team also consisted of three members, but the other two members were boys.

More specifically, they were her brothers.

“It was just like the Taylor golf team at our high school,” Taylor said.

Her brothers proceeded to play golf in the southern U.S., but Taylor wanted to play somewhere closer to home. After visiting GVSU, she knew that this is where she wanted to play on the collegiate level.

“I knew as soon as I came here, I still had to visit (Western Michigan University) and I didn’t even want to stay the whole visit there because I knew that (GVSU) is where I wanted to go,” Taylor said.

Taylor has stepped up her game in her junior campaign. She has an average score of 77.79, which is just ahead of Amos for second-best on the team. Taylor followed up her first collegiate tournament victory in the fall with a strong showing in the first few rounds of the spring season.

“She has had a couple of really good low rounds to give her that confidence to continue to go out there and expect low numbers,” Mailloux said.

The two Canadians are sisters on the team, figuratively and literally. The team assigns “big sisters” for underclassmen to have a smooth transition into the college atmosphere, and the Ontario natives were paired up for obvious reasons.

Taylor and Amos have both earned their spots on a small, competitive roster. They are not only filling the spots, but making an impact on a team that has had success so far this season.