Men’s golf wraps up fall season with another team title win


GVL / Bethann Long

Jason Millis, Staff Writer

In their fourth first-place finish in the fall season, the Grand Valley State University men’s golf closed out a successful fall season with a win at the Motor City Invitational.

The Lakers found themselves in a tight match after day one, holding only a six-stroke lead over Tiffin University, with Wayne State and Ferris State not far behind. GVSU shot a 296 on day one, eight strokes above par.

Sophomore Charles DeLong led the Lakers on the individual leaderboards once more after 18 holes as he sat in second place (71, -2). Sophomore Nick Krueger (fifth) and freshman Charlie Cooley (tied-sixth) were as influential in the first round as they held a score of 73 and 74 respectively.

Being one stroke behind the first place leader after round one (Hurtubise; Wayne State), DeLong was familiar with this type of situation and used his versatility to take charge.

“When you’re a couple points behind, especially when you’re trailing someone who’s never been in that position before, you just have to put your foot down and come out strong,” DeLong said. “And that’s what I did. I birdied a couple of holes and kind of applied the pressure on him, and that allowed me to take the lead.”

Heading into day two and the final 18 holes, the Lakers still continued to dominate but dialed back their performance levels a bit as their team score would ultimately finish at 590 (+14) and only three strokes above Wayne State – their second-poorest scoring finish this season.

With another team win, GVSU saw DeLong finish the invite with his third individual win of the season (score of 72, -1) while Krueger and sophomore Drew Coble finished in a three-way tie for eighth-place (+4 over par) and Cooley dropped to tie for 14th (+7).

Junior Alex Jordan fell into a four-way tie for 29th (+13) and freshman Andrew Gwilliams secured a top-40 positioning as finished in a three-way tie for 35th place (+15).

With another individual victory this season, DeLong earned his ninth career win as a Laker, setting a new GVSU record for most individual wins by a men’s golfer.

“It’s just been steady progress over the last few years,” DeLong said. “I’ve learned how to position myself at the top of the leaderboard and how to pull out a win. To have the most wins of anyone in the program is pretty cool.”

GVSU has now finished the fall season undefeated against other Division II teams, and even during invitationals against DI schools, the Lakers competed well as they defeated seven of the 17 teams they faced in the NCAA DI Folds of Honor Invitational. 

Despite GVSU’s success thus far, head coach Gary Bissell said there is still a lot of room for improvement prior to the start of the spring season.

“We’ve had tremendous success this season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that we need to clean up and work on,” Bissell said. “We’ve got quite a bit to tackle this offseason, so we’re looking forward to that and to getting better for the spring.”

“The fall season matters,” Bissell said. “You have to play well and position yourself to make the postseason, and we’re certainly done that. But we also use the fall to gauge where we’re at and to see if we’re as good as we think we are. One of the main things leading into the offseason is knowing what we need to work on.”