The Grand Rapids Community College golf team picked up a victory on Monday, finishing first in the Ancilla College Invitational in Plymouth, Indiana.
Although Ancilla College hosted the tournament, they did not compete. The Muskegon Community College Jayhawks and the Jackson College Jets were the Raiders’ competition for the tournament, and the Raiders finished 13 strokes ahead of the second place Jayhawks.
Raiders head coach John Forton was happy to get the win, but did say it wasn’t the team’s best performance and that he hopes to see more out of them going forward.
“The scores were a little high,” Forton said. “317 was at least 17 shots above where we should be. I like to average 75 (per player). I attribute that to our lack of concentrated game time and practice time. That’s all it is. The kids will get better and they’ll start to get more familiar with what they need to do to score, so it’s just a matter of time.”
While the team’s total score of 317 was good enough to finish first, it was still 29 strokes over par. Freshman Cooper Bell led the Raiders and finished second overall with a 76 on the day, four over par. Nicholas Ward was right behind him shooting seven over par for a score of 79. Graham Fulcher and Logan Holtkamp each finished tied for fifth overall with a score of 81.
While Forton noticed a lot of the negative keys in the victory, he took time to praise the team for the things they did well.
“I thought they did well in their preparation… we went and played a practice round on Sunday night and they all took pretty good notes and ended up getting the game plan together,” Forton said. “Our putting I thought was our strongest part. I saw a lot of good putting, didn’t see a lot of good ball striking, but I did see a lot of good things with their short game.”
Forton went on to mention the playing conditions weren’t ideal for golf but the team did a good job managing the situation. Going forward, Forton thinks the team is in good shape and wants the golfers to continue improving every day.
“We don’t want to peak this time of year,” Forton said. “We want to peak in May so we can make a good run at the national championship.”
The Raiders next chance to continue their improvement comes this weekend when they head to Battle Creek, Michigan April 12-13 to compete in the Shootout at Stonehedge Invite. Tee times are still to be determined.