Matt Meyle – Collegiate Staff
A third place finish at the Cleary Invitational continues to prepare the GRCC men’s golf team for a competitive spring.
On Monday, Sept. 25th, the GRCC men’s golf team finished third in the Cleary University Invitational in Howell, MI. The team tied Cleary University with a total score of 316, 28 over par, but lost in the card playoff, resulting in GRCC’s third place finish.
The outcome of a card playoff is determined by comparing the strokes of each team’s fifth best golfer. GRCC’s Cam DeKuiper finished fifth for the Raiders, posting a score of 87 strokes, but was bested by Cleary’s Alex Wheeler, who finished ahead of Howard by 4 strokes giving Cleary University sole possession of second place.
The cumulative score of each team’s top four golfers typically determines the tournament’s winner, unless there is a card playoff.
Sophomores Matt Orwig and Josh Stephan both shot a 75, finishing second and third overall in the tournament, respectively. Ryan Skislak, freshmen, placed tenth overall with 80 strokes. Sam Howard, sophomore, finished fourth for GRCC with a score of 86, but finished 25th overall shaping GRCC’s top four.
“I think we were the best team there,” Coach John Forton said. “We’ve got a good nucleus of good, strong players and we’re just going to build onto that as we head into the spring season.”
GRCC freshmen, Nick Ward, competed in the tournament as an individual finishing sixth overall in the tournament shooting a 77, but his score did not contribute to GRCC’s total, resulting in their third place finish.
“I took six players but only played five. One played as in individual,” Forton said. “If we put his score in there, we win by six or seven shots” Forton said referring to Ward’s solo score.
The late September heat wave took it’s toll on the player’s performance throughout the tournament.
“We bought 24 bottles of water to start out the day, and we ended up going through 30 bottles of water, two Gatorades and an Arnold Palmer,” Forton said. “Those are the things we have to get used to as we work into the spring. The nationals are in Alabama so it’ll be very similar, if not hotter, down in Alabama at the end of May.”
Spring Arbor won the tournament with a total score of 315, 27 over par. Cleary and GRCC tied at 316 total stokes, both finishing 28 over par. Since Cleary beat GRCC in the card playoff, Cleary placed second and GRCC finished third. Lourdes scored 320 overall, 32 over par and Sienna Heights posted at total of 334, 46 over par on the day, rounding out fourth and fifth place of the tournament.
GRCC’s first home tournament at Egypt Valley Country Club was rained out on Wed. Oct. 11 leaving the team with one remaining exhibition event before spring play.
The team wraps up fall play with a home tournament at Egypt Valley Country Club on Oct. 16-17.