After two record-breaking days, the Valparaiso men’s golf team decided they would go three for three as records not only fell, but were shattered during the last day of play at the Golfweek Program Challenge. While the Crusaders ended the tournament in fourth place, nine strokes back of winner Old Dominion, they shot a 54-hole tournament score of 842 as a team, 18 shots better than the previous program record of 860.
Valpo also demolished the record for a score relative to par during a 54-hole tournament. The old record stood at +5, but the team turned in an unbelievable 22-under-par for the three-day event. The Crusaders were also 37 strokes better than they were at the same tournament last year.
Coach David Gring was clearly pleased with the effort put forth throughout the tournament. “We learned a lot about our team during this tournament, and so much of it is positive,” said Gring. “The guys played with great passion and determination and I'm proud of their efforts.”
Gring went on to applaud the team with its third-round performance, even if shots didn’t fall the way they had been during the previous two days. “In our first round, we got the putts to drop at critical times that gave us good momentum,” Gring said. “We simply could not get those same seven-to-fifteen foot putts to drop today, and we couldn't get any momentum forward during the round.”
Once again individual records came tumbling down as well. Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio/Carroll) led the Crusaders in the tournament, turning in a 71 on Tuesday to finish in fifth place at -10, a three-round total of 206. This performance was good enough to capture both the Crusaders' 54-hole relative to par record, as well as the 54-hole overall score, which stood at -5 and 211, respectively, before today.
Jared Magoline (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac [Marquette]) and Eric Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward) also broke into the top-six of both those categories with their performances over the course of play the last three days. Magoline finished tied for 23rd after a final-round 72, good for a -3 and a total score of 213. Winters carded a 71, good enough for a top-25 result, and entered the clubhouse at -2 with a three round score of 214.
Wrapping up the total team effort for the tournament was Peter Webb (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) who shot a 78 (217) on the final day of play. Rounding out play for the Brown and Gold was Joe Harris (Washington, Iowa/Washington) who turned in a final 18-hole score of 71, good enough for a very respectable 221.
The Crusaders now return home after two very strong tournaments. Gring said that going through this tournament will clearly pay dividends going forward. “Our team gained some valuable experience with this tournament, and we played well both with and against numerous teams ranked higher than us,” said Gring. “This was a tremendous confidence boost for the entire team.”
The team will head back to practice, looking forward to getting back to action in two weeks when they head to Chicago to play in the CSU Cougar Classic. That tournament will take place on September 22 and 23 at the Harborside International Golf Course.