Sophomore Logan Anuszkiewicz hits a wedge into the green at the G‑MAC Fall Invi­ta­tional in Sep­tember. (John Quint, Courtesy)

Fol­lowing a week of prepa­ration at Pine­hurst Resort, the Hillsdale College Chargers fin­ished third over the weekend at the Saginaw Valley State Uni­versity Spring Invi­ta­tional in Georgetown, Ken­tucky.

Shooting an even-par 576, the Chargers beat out fourth-place Drury Uni­versity by one stroke and fell behind Grand Valley State Uni­versity and top fin­isher Ferris State Uni­versity by three and nine strokes, respec­tively.

“The team’s quality of play was solid,” head coach Nathan Gilchrist said. “They were con­sistent and elim­i­nated mis­takes. That’s why we had a chance to win.”

At the end of the first day, the Chargers found them­selves out of the lead by three with a 285, behind Grand Valley and Drury. On the second day, the Chargers tied Grand Valley with a 291.

But while Drury fell out of the shared lead, Ferris shot a 12-under-par 276, the lowest com­bined score of the tour­nament, giving them the tour­nament win. The round was driven by the low medalist Andrew Hammett’s six-under 66.

“It’s tough to beat that, but we played pretty good,” junior Sutton Dun­woodie said. “Our game plan was to stay in con­tention and not beat our­selves, and I think we did that.”

Indi­vid­ually, senior Liam Purslowe led the team, fin­ishing tied-sixth overall with a three-under 141. Senior Junior Ryan Zetwick fin­ished one stroke behind and tied for 12th. Further down the lineup, the Chargers per­formed well, lim­iting mis­takes over the two-round tour­nament. Both days, the Chargers dropped a 75 from their cumu­lative score, an enviable score to some teams who fin­ished lower in the event.

Besides Hillsdale’s low scorer and this week’s G‑MAC Player of the Week, Purslowe, the other tour­nament standout to Gilchrist was Dun­woodie, who shot a five-over 149 that earned him tied-51st overall.

“Sut­ton’s on-course passion and demeanor was very refreshing for the team and pro­vided a calming effect for his team­mates,” Gilchrist said. “He is extremely ani­mated while playing.”

Dun­woodie said his on-course demeanor is really his effort to stay com­fortable.

“I just like to go have fun,” Dun­woodie said. “It was nice to out there hitting golf shots. When I’m out there playing, I’m just trying to be myself. It’s the best way to avoid getting nervous.”

And he attributed his comfort to a favorable course set-up.

“In general, it was pretty short and not too dif­ficult,” he said.

Before the tour­nament began, freshman Josh Dav­enport cracked his driver in a practice round. With no time to replace it, Dav­enport had no choice but to use coach Gilchrist’s, according to Dun­woodie. It didn’t matter much, as Dav­enport shot two over in the tour­nament, with a one-under 71 on Sat­urday.

Earlier in the week week, the Chargers traveled to North Car­olina to prepare for the spring season at Pine­hurst Resort.

Home to the famous no. 2 course, which will host the 2019 U.S. Ameteur Cham­pi­onsip in August and recently hosted the U.S. Open Cham­pi­onship in 2014, Pine­hurst Resort offers nine courses of chal­lenging fairways and greens that helped the whole team get practice playing out­doors and putting on a real surface.

“The Pine­hurst trip was great for the players to get outside and knock off the rust,” Gilchrist said.

The week kicked off the heart of the season for the Chargers, who will play at next week’s Findlay Invi­ta­tional at the Uni­versity of Ken­tucky Golf Club in Lex­ington, on Monday and Tuesday.