Women’s golf finishes 4th at Laker Fall Classic

Senior Allie Tyler watches as her ball advances down the fairway during Mondays tournament.

Eric Coulter

Senior Allie Tyler watches as her ball advances down the fairway during Monday’s tournament.

Brady Fredericksen

A week after participating in the Mary Fossum Invitational at Michigan State with nine Division I teams, the Grand Valley State University women’s golf team grabbed a fourth-place finish at The Meadows in the Laker Fall Classic on Sunday and Monday.

Florida Southern College won the five team tournament with a team score of 600 ( 24), while Augustana College (S.D.) (613, 37), Ashland University (630, 54), GVSU (633, 57), and Drury University (Mo.) (636, 60) rounded out the standings.

“Seeing some of the Florida schools come up here to play shows that we have an advantage at our home course,” said Allie Tyler, who finished in seventh with a 152 ( 8). “We didn’t play as well as we could this weekend, but at home you know where to put the ball and how the greens are.”

The team does not always get to experience a home-course advantage as it did in the Laker Fall Classic. Unlike in basketball or football where the team is allotted a certain number of home games, a collegiate golf team constantly moves from course to course and may only get to play on its home course two times in a whole season.

Similar to men’s tennis, golf is a spring sport and is currently in its version of the preseason.

“I think it gives us a gauge of where we’re at right now, and it lets the players know what to work on in the winter,” said GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux. “The girls definitely stepped up and had a better performance this week, and I felt like each and everyone of them will say this isn’t what were capable of yet — this is the time to make mistakes and get better.”

The team put together a strong first round by ending the day in third place, but the Lakers could not hold on Monday as Ashland leap-frogged them by three strokes. Alongside Tylers’ seventh-place finish, junior Sarah Hoffman finished one shot behind in a tie for eighth with a 153 ( 9). Sophomore Ashley Beard recorded a 163 ( 19) and freshman Veronica Ryan finished at 165 ( 21).

Mailloux said while the team did not finish on top, it is difficult to point to any one area in which it must improve.

“It’s hard to say what our biggest problem was with golf being such an individual sport,” she said. “We’ve always struggled with putting as a team … The greens played fast this weekend, so it took them a round to get used to the speed.”

The Lakers will see action this weekend at the Bing Beall Classic in Findlay, Ohio.

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