Greenville golfers ready for conference tourney

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 3:59 pm on Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tori Sanders of Greenville tees off during a tournament earlier this season.

GREENVILLE — Today’s O-K White Conference golf tournament at The Golf Club At Thornapple Pointe is a big tournament as far as Greenville coach Nancy Johnson is concerned.
“Winning the conference is a great accomplishment and that’s a goal we set,” Johnson said. “A solid win will make a good feeling going into regionals.”
How good does Johnson feel about the Yellow Jackets, ranked fourth in the state in Division 2 in Monday’s Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association Poll?
“I think they’re in good shape,” she said. “They’re mentally prepared to finish strong. We won the pre-conference and we won all our matches. But you won’t want to go into it like it doesn’t matter. It’s an important tournament and they want to play their best golf.”
Johnson likes Thornapple Pointe, which is located on 48th Street SE near Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
“It’s a good course for the girls,” she said. “It’s competitive and it gives them a chance to get a feel for a good solid course. It will be set up so that it will keep them on their toes. It’s something that will help in preparation for Friday’s regional.”
The girls on the squad are trying to get each other up for the tournament.
“The girls were talking about how well their playing as far as practice time, and said, ‘Let’s get four scores in the 70s,’” Johnson said. “Truthfully I think it can happen. They’ve been close to it. They haven’t hit it solid. There’s no reason why something like that couldn’t happen.”
Johnson was glad to hear the Jackets talk like that.
“I was real pleased to hear it,” she said. “They have the capabilities to do it if they wanted to. If ever there was a time to finish strong, this is the time of year to finish strong.”
Johnson hopes the team can stay within themselves at today’s tournament.
“I just think they can play their game and they’ll be fine,” she said. “We’ve done that all season  and and been successful.”
Johnson thinks the main competition for the title will come from East Grand Rapids.
“East Grand Rapids would like a chance at us,” she said. “We take them seriously, but I’m pretty certain we’ll come out on top.”
That’s because Johnson’s confident in her team.
“Truthfully, I’ve got a strong group in my top five,” she said. “Even my No. 6 player, Megan Hallman, has been working on her game, and is getting better all the time. I’ve got a strong team all the way through. I’ve got depth and that’s nice.”

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