Falling into place

Ferris finishes fall regular season with high expectations after claiming GLIAC Championship

The Bulldogs traveled to Tiffin, Ohio, to compete in their last tournament of the fall season, the Kyle Ryman Memorial Tournament, before entering Regionals.

The Bulldogs took a fourth-place finish in the tournament as they were four strokes behind a second-place tie and eight strokes behind the tournament champion Wayne State University. Ferris had two players finish in the top 25. Senior co-captain Joe Brown tied for fourth place with a par score for the tournament. Junior Ian Straayer finished 20th with a seven over par score for the tournament and Trent Davidson tied for 25th with an eight over par score. The tournament was the last of the fall season for teams in the GLIAC.

“We have a very competitive conference this year where any team could win on a good weekend,” said senior Kyle Wittenbach.

Senior co-captain Garrett Simons took a 27th place finish and Wittenbach placed 33rd for Ferris. The only other player to compete in the tournament for the Bulldogs was sophomore Tyler Robinson as he grabbed a 44th-place tie.

Before taking part in the Kyle Ryman Memorial Tournament, the Bulldogs won the GLIAC Championship. The team has not won the title since 2004. The title represents the program’s 19th GLIAC Championship title. The tournament was held Oct. 2-3 at the Grosse Isle (Mich.) Golf and Country Club course. The championship was hosted by Wayne State University.

“It was a really big achievement for our program to win the GLIAC Championship,” said Wittenbach. “Even though we have had some great successes in the past few years, the GLIAC Championship has eluded us since 2004.”

Wayne State forced a playoff by tying Ferris State’s second round final score of 37 over par. The two teams battled for the title and eventually Ferris came out on top thanks to a first place-finish by Wittenbach. Also helping the Bulldogs win were Straayer and Brown who finished fifth and sixth. Simons added a finish under the top 20 with an 18th-place finish. Wittenbach received GLIAC Player of the Week laurels for his play in the GLIAC championship.

“We had a poor finish in the final round of the tournament which ended up putting us into a playoff,” said Wittenbach. “Even with the rough finish we were excited to be in the playoff which brought us together as a team even more and ultimately led to our victory.”

Now the team’s main focus is on the spring after having a successful fall season.

“We are trying to win a National Championship, and with an automatic bid into the Super Regional this spring, we are one step closer to that goal,” said Wittenbach.

Before the Bulldogs put the clubs away for the fall they will be heading to St. Louis on Oct. 18 to compete in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Invitational. n