Lakers face wind gusts and rain in men’s golf Folds of Honor Invite


Courtesy / GVSU Athletics

Jason Millis, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s men’s golf team traveled to Grand Haven to face off against fierce competition at the Folds of Honor Invitational this past week as they finished 11th overall of 18 teams.

Rain and wind gusts were significant factors in how the Lakers performed over the three-day tournament as they also faced unfamiliar NCAA Division I teams, including Florida State, Kansas, Michigan State, Clemson and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

“The weather was absolutely horrific,” head coach Gary Bissell said. “It was raining and windy and cold all three days. We didn’t play our best, but a lot of that comes from the weather and course conditions.”

However, GVSU was able to place above four Division I teams in the tournament; Air Force Academy, Navy Academy, Army West Point and Texas Southern University respectively.

Although the Lakers weren’t able to extend their first-place streak to three-straight tournaments in a row, Bissell was pleased with how the team performed against opponents that are nationally ranked at the highest collegiate level.

“It’s a good confidence boost going forward,” Bissell said. “We hung right in there with UCLA and even Clemson (which is) a top-25 program in Division I. We didn’t play our best, but we still hung with some of the best teams in the country.”

At the end of round one on Sept. 26, GVSU sat in ninth place after shooting a score of 296 (+8) and placing themselves right in the middle of the leaderboards.

Sophomore Charles DeLong has stood out tremendously in individual play so far this season, and was once more a huge contributor to the first 18 holes as he tied for second (70, -2) to finish round one. Sophomore Drew Coble showed promising signs in the opening round as he found himself in a five-way tie for 12th place with a score of 72, even with par.

Although the Lakers were able to maintain their ninth-place position at the end of round two on Sept. 27, DeLong began to drop on the leaderboards as he was tied for sixth overall and Coble managed to move up a position to tie for 11th. GVSU would finish the second day with a score of 596 and +20 par.

The Lakers fell behind on the third and final day as they would ultimately finish with a +40 par (score of 904).

“We could have played a lot better, but at the same time, we hung in there,” Bissell said. “There is a pretty big gap between us and the rest of the teams. It shows we fit better with the Power Five schools than the Mid-Major schools, which is a good sign we’re doing something right.”

DeLong and Coble would tie with one another and three other athletes for 14th place on the individual leaderboards as they both shot 219 (+3).

Freshman Charlie Cooley and sophomore Nick Krueger each shot a 234 (+18) to finish in a three-way tie for 59th place, while freshman Bryce Wheeler tied for 76th with 243 (+27).

“Charlie and Drew played well,” Bissell said. “To take top-15 in a field that’s got a lot of the best golfers in the world, those are pretty good performances. The rest of the guys didn’t play their best, but that’s golf. Not everyone is going to play their best every time.”

The Lakers will host the two-day Folds of Honor Invitational Qualifier at the Meadows Golf Course this week starting Monday, Oct. 3.