Smashing the program record for a 54-hole tournament by 10 strokes, the Valparaiso men's golf team finished in second place as it competed in the final round of the John Piper Intercollegiate at Stone Ridge G.C. in Bowling Green, Ohio on Tuesday.
The Crusaders shot a second straight team round of 292 on Tuesday to close the tournament at 869, just three shots back of team champion Marshall. Valpo bested the other two Horizon League schools in the field in Green Bay – by one stroke - and Youngstown State – by 14 shots. The Crusaders' final team score of 869 was just +5 for the tournament on the par-72 circuit, besting by 10 strokes last week's performance at the Golfweek Program Challenge, which had set a new standard in relation to par for a Valpo squad.
“The team has played real well this fall, against very good competition,” said Crusader head coach David Gring. “We were only a few made putts away from winning today, but the second-place finish is gratifying.”
All four Crusaders who contributed to the team score on Tuesday posted identical rounds of one-over-par 73. Freshman Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio/Carroll) used his round of 73 to close the tournament at even-par 216, good for a tie for fifth place. Redshirt sophomore Jared Magoline (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac [Marquette]) closed out his first competitive tournament at Valpo in a tie for 13th, posting a total of 219.
Freshman Peter Webb (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) finished at 221 for the 54-hole event, tying for 17th place. Senior Thomas Wettstein (Neenah, Wis./Xavier) rounded out the scoring quartet on Tuesday and came home at 229 to tie for 44th position. Junior Joe Harris (Washington, Iowa/Washington), who was in a tie for third after Monday's 36 holes, was disqualified in his final round on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, junior Eric Winters (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward), playing as an individual at the event, posted his second sub-par round of the tournament to close things out, shooting a one-under 71 to finish at 218 (+2), good for a tie for 11th place. Sophomore Matt Ward (Plainfield, Ill./South) also played as an individual and finished with a 54-hole score of 234.
“The consistency of our scoring across all seven players is very encouraging for the remainder of our fall schedule,” said Gring. “We showed our depth this tournament, along with how well our underclassmen can play. We have a lot of talent throughout the entire team. The guys are all working hard in practice, and the results are evident in our low team scoring. We will continue to improve this fall, and we're looking forward to our next tournament.”
Valparaiso continues its fall schedule in a week and a half, taking to the links at Ruffled Feather G.C. in Lemont, Ill. on Saturday, Sept. 28 for day one of the John Dallio Memorial, hosted by DePaul. Last season, Kyle Henning earned individual medalist honors at the event.