GV men’s golf places fourth at Midwest Regional No. 1

GVL / Kevin Sielaff
Sophomore Bryce Messner leans back to take a swing Friday, August 28th, 2015.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL / Kevin Sielaff Sophomore Bryce Messner leans back to take a swing Friday, August 28th, 2015.

Danny Schwartz

The Grand Valley State men’s golf team traveled to Chicago this week and competed in the NCAA Midwest Regional No. 1 at Harborside International Golf Center. The Lakers finished in fourth place out of 25 teams, with a final score of 628.

University of Missouri-St. Louis finished in first place with a score of 614, while Findlay placed second with a final score of 622. Lake Superior State University barely beat out GVSU for third place, with a final score of 626.

Even though they finished in the top five, GVSU coach Gary Bissell was less than pleased with the team’s performance.

“I thought we played bad,” Bissell said. “But, we hung in there. It’s kind of contradictory what I’m saying but it was a decent performance for how bad I thought we played. Performance-wise and execution-wise, I thought we were pretty terrible.”

Bissell believes there’s no emergency or need to hit the panic button. He said the biggest misstep was how poorly the team hit the ball. It was a far cry from last year, when the team mostly hit the ball well.

“From what I saw, our short game was actually pretty decent, I thought we putted okay, but overall, we just hit horrible,” Bissell said. “Barely any of our guys were striking the golf ball well. For the most part, there was a lot of pretty terrible golf shots over the two days.”

However. Bissell said there are positives from the team’s play, and is confident his team can play better.

“As long as you stay in the top five in regionals, you’re going to stay pretty safe and keep yourself in contention,” Bissell said. “We’re actually trying to get to a point where we win when we don’t play well and when we do play well, we win by a lot.”

Sophomore Bryce Messner was the leading scorer for GVSU, taking fifth place overall, carding an eight-over-par 76-76-152 final score.

“There were pretty tough conditions here and I’m definitely physically and mentally exhausted,” Messner said. “How we played was pretty disappointing. We came in fourth, but we could always do better. We just need to work on finishing these tournaments because we always seem to finish in fourth or third or even second. But overall, it wasn’t a terrible performance.”

Sophomore Mitchell White finished 13th overall, carding a 75-80-155 final score.

“I didn’t hit the ball how I wanted to,” White said. “It was tough in the wind, but I look at the windy conditions as a positive. These conditions really show you what you need to work on. I need to work on my short game, and off the tee I need stop shooting myself in the foot.”

Alex Scott finished with a final score of 156, while Domenic Mancinelli and Andrew Vanderburg carded a 165 and 167, respectively.

The Lakers return to action for the Midwest Regional No. 2 at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, Missouri, Oct.10-11.