GVSU men’s golf finishes second in final fall tournament, Alex Scott ties for first

GVL / Matt Read
The GVSU mens golf team practices pitching the ball onto the green. The team participated in some drills on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017.

GVL / Matt Read The GVSU men’s golf team practices pitching the ball onto the green. The team participated in some drills on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017.

Louis Ricard

Sometimes, individual performances can only get a team so far.

The Lakers learned that the hard way this past weekend as the Grand Valley State men’s golf team finished second at the 2017 Tiffin University Kyle Ryman Memorial, the team’s last tournament of the fall season, Sunday, Oct. 1, and Monday, Oct. 2. 

GVSU finished the first day tied second with Bellarmine University after shooting a 581, only trailing Wayne State. Although the slow start that happened at the University of Findlay two weeks ago seemed forgotten, head coach Gary Bissell did not think his team played even close to their best rounds of golf yet. 

“We just need four guys to play well,” Bissell said. “But unfortunately, we could only get three guys to play well each day.” 

The underwhelming source of production has become a concern for Bissell, as a couple of his leaders have yet to play to their usual capabilities on the course this season. 

“We need Bryce Messner and Domenic Mancinelli to play better,” Bissell said. “They are veterans, first team all-conference players and they have not played to that level this fall.” Mancinelli and Messner finished 57th and 83rd overall, respectively.

Although the team members know where they need to improve, second place is a good standing for the Lakers in a tournament of this size. Teams shot 36 holes in one day to begin the invitational, something that can be draining both mentally and physically, according to junior Alex Scott. 

“You’re literally up from sunrise to sunset playing golf,” Scott said. “It’s kind of hard to hold it together.” 

However, Scott seemed to be the only one who did hold it together this past weekend, finishing tied for first overall in individuals. The junior veteran shot a 54-hole total of 210 (-6), including a 68 (-4) final round. 

“You lose much more often than you win in golf,” he said. “It’s difficult to handle.”

Since last year, Scott has emerged as one of the best golfers for GVSU, finishing regularly in the top 10 of tournaments and battling for first place on a few occasions. Over the course of the past five months, the junior has stepped it up. 

“I’ve definitely gotten more comfortable being at the top of the leaderboard,” Scott said. “My game just improved quite a bit over the last four to five months. My putting got a lot better, and that’s the main thing I’ve worked on over the summer. I’ve been able to be consistent.”

To him, his focus has been sharp this season, as Scott already has one title under his belt in just four tournaments this fall. The junior was once again the bright spot for GVSU, and Bissell hopes the rest of the team catches up to Scott’s individual results. 

“We have some work to do this winter,” Bissel said. “We’re in a good spot, but if we want to be in the lead, those two (Mancinelli and Messner) really have to step up.”

Although fall is not the main season for the GVSU men’s and women’s golf teams, Bissell is satisfied with the production and commitment of his players overall.

The teams will start their winter workouts soon to get ready for a national championship run this spring. As Bissell put it, “The goal is just to get better every day and every week.” 

The question is, how good can this team become? Only time and practice will tell for the Lakers.