The best tournament in relation to par in program history was enough to earn the Valparaiso men’s golf team a second-place finish at the Battle at the Tetons in Victor, Idaho, as the tournament concluded with 18 holes on Tuesday. Individually, senior Austin Gaugert (Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger) finished in second place and became the first Crusader golfer to finish a 54-hole tournament under par.
The Crusaders closed out the tournament with a third-round team score of 297 to finish the tournament with a stroke total of 883, five strokes clear of Utah State and Utah Valley for second place. Wyoming earned the team title with a score of 847. Valpo’s +19 score in relation to par was one stroke better than the previous program record in relation to par, while the cumulative stroke total of 883 ranks second in program history for a 54-hole event.
“I'm proud of the second-place finish in our first tournament of the year,” said Crusader head coach David Gring. “We wanted to start our season with a solid performance on a challenging course and in a good field, and our guys played very well. The University of Wyoming played very well, and we congratulate them on their victory.”
Gaugert closed out a strong opening tournament with a round of 71 on Tuesday, giving him a total of 213 (-3) over the 54-hole event to finish in second place, trailing only Wyoming’s Eddie Stewart (-8). The senior broke the Crusaders’ previous individual record in relation to par over 54 holes by four strokes, while his 213 total is second-lowest for a 54-hole tournament in program history.
Fifth-year senior Brad Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward [Dayton]) also enjoyed a strong closing round, joining Gaugert at one-under-par 71 to close the tournament with a three-round total of 220 (+4), tied for the fifth-best 54-hole score in relation to par in program history. In addition, Gaugert and Winters became the first golfers in Valpo history to break par twice in the same event. Sophomore Joe Harris (Washington, Iowa/Washington) and junior Kyle Henning (Brookfield, Wis./East) each posted rounds of 78 on Tuesday, finishing the tournament with scores of 226 (+10) and 227 (+11) and placing in ties for 21st and 24th, respectively. Sophomore Eric Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward) rounded out the Valpo contingent with a closing round of 77, finishing in a tie for 31st place with a score of 229 (+13).
“Two of my seniors, Austin Gaugert and Brad Winters, led our team with good scores, and Austin's performance in this tournament was exemplary, well-deserving of his second-place individual finish,” said Gring.
Valparaiso continues its fall season at the Purdue Midwest Shootout, a one-day event in West Lafayette, Ind. on Sunday, Sept. 16.