GV’s Charlie DeLong adds to list of accomplishments with amateur golf tournament win


Courtesy / GVSU Lakers

Justice Steiner, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s Charlie DeLong took first place in the 23rd annual Kent County Amateur Golf Tournament with a 54-hole score of 205, which was 11 shots under par.

“Going into any event you are trying to win, if you’re not, something is wrong,” Delong said. “I hadn’t been playing my best golf going into it so I didn’t know what to expect, but like I said, you are always trying to win it.”

This was not DeLong’s first time competing in Kent County Amateur Golf Tournament; he placed 8th in last year’s event.

“No one likes being close and not pulling it out,” DeLong said.

After the first two rounds of this year’s tournament, Delong had a combined score of 141, which was good for three shots under par.

“I haven’t been driving the golf ball particularly well,” DeLong said. “So that’s been a big focus for me this summer– keeping the ball in play off the tee and I did that for the most part.”

Before heading into the third and final round, DeLong said knowing that he had a chance to win the tournament, it was a mindset of, “Alright, let’s go get it done.” The final round was DeLong’s best; he finished the third round with a score of 64, which was eight shots under par. 

“I hit it pretty good the first couple of rounds; I played average, and then in the final round it all kind of clicked and came together, so that was nice,” DeLong said.

The Kent County Amateur Golf Tournament champion did not have a shortage of talent competing against him on the course. Runner up, Grant Haefner, who was an All-GLIAC First Team performer at Wayne State University last season, finished with a score of 207, which was nine shots below par.

Rounding out the top three was Michigan State University’s August Meekhof. Meekhof, who is an Allendale high school alumnus, was recognized as the top golfer in the class of 2020 within the state of Michigan. Also competing in the tournament was DeLong’s teammate, Nick Krueger, who finished in 11th place for GVSU, shooting five above par for a total score of 221.

Winning this tournament expands on an already extensive list of accolades for the sophomore. In his first two seasons at GVSU, DeLong is a two-time All-GLIAC First Team performer, was named GLIAC Freshman of the Year in 2020, and tied the record for best score at The Meadows golf course. 

Although Delong has had many achievements early in his GVSU career, he said his favorite is still the feeling of winning a tournament and knowing that the hard work and preparation paid off.

“I don’t know if one win is really above another one, just winning golf tournaments, in general, is always fun. That’s what you practice for, it’s what you prepare for,” DeLong said. ”When the tournament is over and you know you won it’s always just a great feeling.”

Heading into the school season, DeLong is most concerned about the success of the team, rather than individual accomplishments.

“I don’t think too much about the individual stuff because I know if I play well individually it will help the team,” DeLong said. “Summer stuff obviously is a little more individual, but during the season it’s team, team, team.”

Two main goals DeLong hopes to help the team achieve this season include a national championship as well as a GLIAC championship. 

 The GVSU men’s golf team tees off its season starting Sept. 5 at the Arendsen Invitational, which takes place at The Meadows golf course in Allendale, Michigan.