The Valparaiso men's golf team continued its record-breaking start to the 2012 fall season on Sunday at the Purdue Midwest Shootout, winning a multi-team event for the first time in program history and setting a new record for lowest 36-hole tournament score.
“I'm very proud of our guys today,” said Crusader head coach David Gring. “It was a tremendous team effort to come out with the victory, and it's great to beat Purdue by a couple shots. It was a very balanced effort from our team – all of our guys went out and played good, solid golf.”
The Crusaders opened the tournament, which featured a pair of 18-hole rounds on Sunday, with a team score of 296, the tournament's lowest team round. Valpo followed with a round of 302 to finish the one-day event with a 598 total, two strokes clear of host Purdue and five ahead of third-place Eastern Kentucky. The 598 set a new 36-hole tournament low for the program by three strokes, while also setting by three strokes the best 36-hole tournament by the team in relation to par (+22).
Senior Austin Gaugert (Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger) led the way for the Crusaders, and for the second straight tournament set records along the way. Gaugert posted a 73 in his first round of the day before improving by one stroke in the afternoon for a 72, his cumulative total of 145 good for a runner-up finish. Gaugert's 145 is the best individual 36-hole tournament performance in program history by one stroke, while it set the mark for best 36-hole tournament in relation to par (+1) by three shots.
Sophomore Joe Harris (Washington, Iowa/Washington) also posted a top-five finish, recording rounds of 78 and 71 for a 149 total. The 149 is tied for sixth-best in program history for a 36-hole event, while the +5 in relation to par is tied for fourth-best. Sophomore Eric Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward) finished in a tie for 14th, ending the day at 152 (73-79).
“Austin continued his very consistent play today,” said Gring. “He has been solid for us so far this year. I was also impressed with Joe, coming back after a 78 to shoot a 71 in the afternoon. It was a long day of golf, and for both Joe and Austin to end with the scores they did in the afternoon round is tremendous.”
Junior Kyle Henning (Brookfield, Wis./East) registered a total of 155 (75-80), good for a tie for 21st place, while fifth-year senior Brad Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward [Dayton]) rounded out the Crusader team with a tie for 26th at 156 (75-81). Playing as individuals, junior Thomas Wettstein (Neenah, Wis./Xavier) finished in 35th place with a 160 (84-76), while senior Andy Webb (Bedford, Ind./North Lawrence) posted a 161 (82-79) to finish tied for 36th.
“It's been great to have the great results early on, finishing in second place in our first tournament and winning today,” said Gring. “We are looking forward to getting right back at it in our next tournament the next two days.”
Valparaiso continues fall play on Monday at the John Piper Intercollegiate, hosted by Bowling Green. The two-day, 54-hole event begins with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m.