The Lakers finish third out of a group of 20 plus teams this past weekend

Courtesy Photo/ GVSU Athletic Department
Sophomore Chris Cunningham lines up a putt at a past match.

Courtesy Photo/ GVSU Athletic Department Sophomore Chris Cunningham lines up a putt at a past match.

Tate Baker

Despite a rocky day two at the Great Lakes Fall Regional Finals, the Grand Valley State University men’s golf team finished third among a collective group of GLIAC and Midwest schools.

“Well, when it comes down to it, it’s somewhat disappointing,” said head coach Don Underwood. “When you have three of your athletes finish in the top 11, you expect to win the tournament. Unfortunately, we were unable to do that.”

Anchored by the Lakers big three of Chris Cunningham, Jack Rider and Joel Siegel, GVSU finished with a total score of 592, just two strokes behind second place Tiffin University, 590. Wayne State University was able to cap off the weekend by winning the tournament with a total score of 576.

“We really placed ourselves in a good spot after the first day,” said junior Chris Cunningham. “It was the second day that killed us.”

The Lakers were able to fight off not only strong winds on day one of the tournament, but also the tougher of the two courses at the tournament.

“The guys really played well on the back nine,” Underwood said. “They battled the conditions and looked pretty impressive on the first day.”

A concern is looming for the Lakers as they are still struggling to find their groove with the No. 4 and 5 spots within the team.

“We have been switching guys in and out for the last two spots,” Cunningham said. “Hopefully we can get some consistency within those spots, that would really help our chances at conferences.”
With the backend gaining experience and confidence, Underwood has hopes that the team’s youth will be able to adjust.

“Our fourth and fifth spots just need to gain some confidence,” Underwood said. “We have a lot of freshman filtering in and out of those spots, it’s going to be an adjustment period for these guys.”
With the GLIAC Championships only two weeks away, the Lakers will be focused with a common goal in mind.

“We are looking to defend,” said sophomore Jack Rider. “It’s really as simple as that. If we win the GLIAC again this year, that means an automatic birth at the super regionals, which is huge.”
The Lakers are putting in preparations for the GLIAC Championships, knowing it is the most important tournament on the schedule.

“We are really going to have to focus on keeping the ball in play on our opening drives,” Underwood said. “Everyone on the team knows that this is the biggest tournament for us all year. It’s going to be crucial for them to play that way.”

The Lakers will have a two week break before they travel down to Ohio to play at Elyria Country Club for the GLIAC Championships.

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