Joel Pietila made history!
The sophomore from Rockford, Michigan is the 2017 GLIAC Men's Golf Individual champion. He won the first individual GLIAC title in the history of the sport at Hillsdale College with three terrific rounds, played over the weekend at The Virtues Golf Club in Nashport, Ohio.
As a team, the Chargers finished seventh overall with a team score of 928. Grand Valley State took first as a team with an 890, followed by Ferris State, who shot a 901 and Tiffin, who shot a 904.
Pietila shot an opening round 72 on Friday to jump near the top of the leaderboard early on. Increased winds Saturday played havoc with many golfers on the course, and Pietila carded a 76. But Sunday's gorgeous conditions played into his favor, as he fired a 72 to win the title with a three0round score of 220, beating Grand Valley State's Bryce Messner by two strokes.
Pietila played a calm, mature tournament, staying consistent and staying out of deep trouble throughout. He really made hay on par four and five holes, taking advantage of opportunities to get ahead, or stay ahead of his competition.
On par four holes, Pietila was the tournament's top player, averaging 4.03 strokes per par-four hole. He was even better on par fives, averaging a score of 4.75 on the par five holes at The Virtues, ranking third in the field.
He added 10 birdies to his weekend rounds, which was third-most among all competitors.
It was Hillsdale College's final GLIAC men's golf event, and Pietila's fine play ensured that the program's final memory as a team was a pleasant one.
Joe Torres was Hillsdale's second-ranked golfer at GLIACs, finishing tied for 20th with a score of 229. He got better as the weekend went along, shooting rounds of 79, 77 and 73.
Liam Purslowe had an eagle during the tournament and was third on the team with a three-round score of 237. Peter Beneteau was fourth wth a 242, and the Charger group was rounded out by Andrew Grayson, who had a 253 on the weekend.