The Grand Rapids Community College golf team competed in their first tournament of the spring this past weekend, and placed 10th out of 11 teams in the Heritage Hill Invite in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.
The Raiders were facing some stiff competition as they were the only community college to compete in the invite. As a team, the Raiders shot a 640 which was 64 over par. Despite the high score, the Raiders showed improvement from day one to day two. The first day of the tournament, they shot a 327. The next day, they took 14 collective strokes off their score to shoot a 313.
“It was fun,” freshman golfer Cooper Bell said. “The team didn’t play the best the first day but our scores for sure came down a lot on the second day.”
Raiders’ head coach John Forton addressed the team’s need for improvement but believes they will do that with more practice ahead of the Raiders’ first conference test.
“We’re just looking to get out and practice a little bit more,” Forton said. “I think as we get on to the course, which will probably be next week, we’ll continue to improve and look forward to playing our first conference match in Ancilla where we’ll be at full strength once again.”
Bell led the team with the Raiders’ lowest score of the tournament, a 74 on day two. Austin Bayer shot a 75 in round two while Sam Howard showed massive improvements going from 92 strokes in round one, to 76 strokes in round two.
Bell believes that despite the rough start to the spring season, facing competition like this will help the Raiders in the long run once they get into conference play.
“It will for sure help us out in conference matches,” Bell said. “Because if we can play with four-year schools, then we for sure can give teams in our conference a run for their money.”
The Raiders will have a couple weeks off to practice and regroup before their first Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference matchups. They will travel to Indiana to compete in the Ancilla College Invite on Monday, April 8.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Tuesday, March 26 at 1:46 p.m. to include comments from head coach John Forton.