By Sean Chase
After an extended hiatus due to COVID-19, the Grand Rapids Community College golf team was able to get back on the course, when they traveled to Plymouth, Indiana on Friday, April 9, for the Ancilla College Invitational, where they placed first out of four teams.
“As usual, they came out a little bit rusty, because they haven’t played competitive golf in a year, so it was a good showing under those circumstances,” said John Forton, GRCC’s head golf coach. “I think they all could play a little bit better, but all-in-all it was a pretty good showing for our first competitive round in a year and a month.”
Five of the top nine finishers were Raiders, as GRCC outpaced the second-place team, Muskegon Community College by 16 strokes to start their season off on a good note.
Freshman Ari Jackman led the Raiders posting the lowest score, 74 (+2) on the day, to win the entire event. GRCC also received contributions from redshirt-freshman Tyler Hausserman and Dominic Luciani, to tie for second place, each posting a 77 (+5), freshmen Davis Courtright and Logan Templeton, who tied for ninth place, with a score of 82 (+10) and redshirt-freshman Matthew DenHartigh, posting a score of 86 (+14).
“Well, (Jackman’s) a freshman and he qualified number one on the team, he did a tremendous job in his first event,” Forton said. “He probably could have shot better than that, he just didn’t finish well, but he’s gonna be a strong performer for the next couple of years. Look for him to do some really good things here, maybe make all-region, and look for us to do really well in the nationals, him and the rest of the team as well.”
Next, the Raiders will turn their sights to the Glen Oaks Community College Invitational, which will be held at the Island Hills Golf Club in Centreville, on Thursday, April 15, beginning at 10 a.m.
“We’re just gonna continue to try and widen our gap on the rest of the Western Conference,” Forton said. “I think we have a 16-shot lead, and I expect them to play a little bit better, and as the season goes on, get more used to the competition. We have three more conference matches after this, including our own. So just look for improvement each and every day from every player, and I think we’ll get that as the year goes on.”