Valparaiso maintained its spot in the standings on Tuesday as play concluded at the Butler Spring Invitational held at Prestwick Country Club in Avon, Ind. The Crusaders finished the tournament with a 36-hole total of 625 to finish in 11th place, just four shots out of eighth.
Purdue won the team title by 20 strokes over IUPUI and Loyola (Chicago) with a two-over par 578 (288-290) on the 6,960-yard, par-72 layout.
Valpo finished five shots ahead of Youngstown State and just one in back of Butler. Evansville and Wright State tied for eighth at 621. The Crusaders carded a team total of 314 on day two of the tournament.
“Overall it was a frustrating two days of golf,” head coach Mike Hidgon said. “It was our first tournament out of the winter months and we were a little rusty. We were hoping to go out and improve from yesterday and through 12 holes we had done that by about 10 strokes. However we threw it away with bogeys and doubles on the last five to six holes. We need to learn how to close, but I’m hoping to build off of this and that we continue to put ourselves in a situation to do so.”
Individually, Thomas Wettstein (Neenah, Wis./Xavier H.S.) led the way for the Crusaders finishing in a tie for 26th place. He carded an 80 on day two to finish at eight-over par 152 for the tournament.
Josh Kalita (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) fired Valpo’s low second round with a 77 on Tuesday, and finished at 160 in a tie with Kyle Henning (Brookfield, Wis./East H.S.). Henning shot 81 over the final 36 holes.
Andy Webb (Bedford, Ind./North Lawrence H.S.) had the Brown and Gold’s second best overall total at 155 after firing a 78 on Tuesday to follow up his round one 77.
“Andy was our most consistent golfer of the tournament,” Higdon concluded.
Austin Gaugert (Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger H.S.) added a 79 on Tuesday and finished at 168 while Brad Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward H.S.), playing as an individual shot an 80 to finish at 163.
Valparaiso will return to the links next Monday at the Big Blue Intercollegiate held at Spring Hill, Tenn. Round one action begins at 8 a.m.