GVSU women’s golf places first overall at SVSU Spring Invite

GVL / Emily Frye    
Alex Amos during the 7th Annual Gildas Club Laker Fall Invitational on Sunday Sept. 25, 2016.

Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye Alex Amos during the 7th Annual Gilda’s Club Laker Fall Invitational on Sunday Sept. 25, 2016.

Beau Troutman

The Grand Valley State women’s golf team played in 30-50 mile-an-hour winds in its first tournament of the year last week, and played in freezing temperatures this past weekend.

That hasn’t slowed them down yet.

The Lakers took home first-place for the first time this spring at the Saginaw Valley State Spring Invitational in Lexington, Kentucky. The Lakers shot 322 as a team in the first round Saturday, March 18 to take the lead over the 19-team field. The Lakers retained the lead in the second round, shooting 308 to seal the victory.

“We just have a lot of depth on the team this year,” said GVSU coach Rebecca Mailloux. “Anybody in our top seven players could go out and win a tournament in any given week.

“We haven’t even come close to reaching our potential.”

Ashland finished second (322-316-638), Northwood finished third (328-313-641), Illinois-Springfield came in fourth (344-312-356) and Trevecca Nazarene placed fifth (349-311-660) to round out the top five.

The Lakers had four golfers score lower than a 160 over the course of the two rounds: Senior Julie Guckian (81-76-156), freshman Maria Sol Pose (competed as an individual; 81-75-156), sophomore Mackenzie Blomberg (81-76-157) and senior Alex Taylor (80-78-158).

Also scoring for the Lakers was junior Samantha Moss (81-79-160), freshman Katie Chipman (88-78-166) and sophomore Alex Amos (90-83-173).

The Lakers were not fully content with their scores, but were happy to get a victory. Mailloux pointed out the field for the tournament was not as competitive as ones they’ll face later in the season. With the limited practice time the team has had due to weather, their game isn’t as polished as they’d like it to be. The Lakers most-needed area of improvement thus far is their short game, which has been limited due to the low availability of outdoor practice greens.

“I don’t want to sound disappointed in the performance,” Mailloux said. “We definitely should have come away with a victory in this tournament. The fact that it was only an eight-shot victory over Ashland, I know the girls would say the same thing, it wasn’t our greatest performance.

“But a win is a win.”

The Lakers showcased their depth at the tournament that they will surely need after the departure of last year’s NCAA Division II Individual National Champion, Gabrielle Shipley, who is now trying to pursue a career in the LPGA. The Lakers finished fourth as a team at the championships.

Blomberg said the experiences garnered from last year gave this year’s squad a boost—especially the underclassmen like herself, who witnessed firsthand what it takes to be a collegiate golfer at this level.

“As a freshman last year it was real eye-opening to see how much work the girls put in,” Blomberg said. “All the hours they put in after school, after practice, all the extra work that’s necessary to make the lineup and contribute to these team wins.

“That’s what I’m really focusing on this year.”

Up next, the Lakers will travel to Columbus, Ohio for the NC4K Classic Sunday and Monday, April 2-3. After that, they will compete at the JBMF Cavalier Classic in North Canton, Ohio Monday and Tuesday, April 2-3, before competing in the GLIAC Championships April 21-23.