Women’s golf battle conditions, finish fourth

GVL / Archive
Sophomore Molly Esordi

GVL / Archive Sophomore Molly Esordi

Jay Bushen

The Lakers were hoping a trip to Kentucky would mean a chance to compete on a dry golf course.
However, mother nature wouldn’t cooperate.

The Grand Valley State University women’s golf team was able to overcome the inclement conditions at the Whitetail/Buckskin course at the Perry Park Spring Fling over the weekend, ultimately coming away with a fourth-place finish in a field of 24 teams.

The University of Indianapolis (611) won the event, besting the University of Findlay (628) and Ashland University (628) who finished in a tie for second place. GVSU finished with a team total of 634 as a team.

Sophomore Kelly Hartigan led the way for the Lakers with a 152 (8) stroke performance, good enough for a sixth-place tie individually. Hartigan said her team could have done better despite the less than desirable weather.

“We need to get back to the fundamentals, even if it was cold and wet,” she said.

The wet greens proved to be an issue for the Lakers, who had issues putting and chipping on the first day of competition with a 324 stroke performance.

“The greens were bumpy and slow,” said head coach Rebecca Mailloux said. “We improved on the second day. We just had to get comfortable and adjust our chipping and putting.”

Once they got a feel for the course, GVSU leapfrogged a number of teams Sunday after making some adjustments. The team made a 14-stroke improvement, shooting 310 on the day.

Senior Marni Weinstein finished second on the team with a 160 (16) stroke performance, which put her in a tie for 22nd place.

Weinstein said her team was driving the ball well, but the weather made putting frustrating at times.

“Our swings felt good, we just needed a chance to play outside,” Weinstein said. “We didn’t play as well as we can, and we didn’t do very well on the greens. They weren’t rolling which made them very difficult to judge. It’s frustrating, but that’s just spring golf.”

Junior Veronica Ryan and freshman Gabrielle Shipley also chipped in with solid performances, as the duo finished in a tie for 32nd shooting 162 (18) in the two-day span.

The team appears to be on the right track after it started the season with a victory at the Las Vegas Desert Classic on March 4, but a tendency to play better in the second round is still a concern. Mailloux said her team needs to eliminate the slow starts if they hope to have a chance to win their sixth straight GLIAC title in 2013.

“We have to come out of the gate a little stronger,” she said. “I do feel that we are getting more consistent. We just have to give it some time. They’re all hitting the ball well.”

The team will return to action April 8 at the Ohio Dominican Invitational in Pataskala, Ohio before competing in The Triton on April 14 in St. Louis, Mo.
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