Fair lie

Bulldogs prepare to tee up in upcoming conference tournament

The rich tradition of the Ferris State University men’s golf program is deep, and the 2012 version is looking to add another notch to the decorated belt.

Ferris has captured the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference crown 20 times in the program’s history, which dates back to 1973. The Bulldogs last won the conference championship in 2010.

The men’s golf program is in the thick of things once again this season, as fifth-year Head Coach Michael Mignano looks to keep improving the team each week.

Sophomore Luke Trocchio said, “Even though golf is an individual sport, you have to keep your head up because when you’re on a team, every shot matters.”

The squad has had some early season success as it prepares for the GLIAC Championship. The Bulldogs finished second after the first round and fourth overall in the two-day GLIAC Fall Preview Invitational, which took place Sept. 22-23 in South Haven. Every member of the GLIAC competed for the right to be named first in the league preview tournament.

Wayne State University snagged the top spot in the invite, while Saginaw Valley State and Grand Valley State followed behind, respectively.

The Bulldogs finished the first round of the GLIAC Preview a single stroke behind Wayne State University. But Ferris fell 10 strokes behind in the invitational due to five of the Bulldogs’ six competitors combining for a total of 24 more strokes tallied than in their previous round’s total.

Ferris packed its clubs up for Kansasville, Wisc. to compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional Sept. 30 through Oct. 1. The Bulldogs finished in sixth place out of 24 teams with a final score of 597.

The top three teams hailed from the GLIAC and included the first-place Wayne State Warriors who carded a triumphant total of 576, along with Tiffin and Grand Valley State. Second-place Tiffin was far behind Wayne State with a total score of 590, only seven strokes better than the Bulldogs.

Junior Tyler Robinson drove the Bulldogs’ performance with his two-round card totaling 147, composed of 70 and 77 stroke rounds, which placed him 11th in a field of 120.

Another strong performance was given by Ferris’ Trocchio, who ended the regional two strokes behind Robinson with a final stroke count of 149. His round totals included a 75 and 74 through both days of the competition.

Wayne State’s Rob Favaro edged Tiffin University’s Luke Schlicher in a playoff to take the individual crown after each posted scores of 142 during the two day event. Robinson ended the preview five strokes back of the overall lead.

Progress is the key for the Bulldogs, and they have shown a positive correlation early in the 2012 campaign with hopes to continue on to the GLIAC Championships.

“We’re going to do the best we can; focus on one shot at a time [in the GLIAC Championships]. The conditions are going to be rough, and it’s going to be cold. But I’m sure the scores will be relative,” Trocchio said.

The next event for the golf squad is Oct. 14 through 16 when Ferris travels to Elyria, Ohio for a three-day competition in the GLIAC Championships. The weather forecast is predicted to be cold and rainy for the majority of the event.