Day one consisted of two 18-hole rounds, and the Brown and Gold have put themselves in striking distance of a top-five finish. Entering day two, Valpo holds a team score of 595 and currently sits in ninth place behind leader Arkansas-Little Rock.
Coach David Gring was impressed by the efforts, but wished that they were able to put all the pieces together. “We had three players in each round finding their playing rhythm well, but we couldn’t get that fourth and fifth score where we needed it.” Gring continued by saying, “We are still striving for consistency throughout each individual round and our total team score.”
The field at the Wallace Jones Invitational is diverse, with only Horizon League rival Oakland being the familiar face at the tournament. Gring sees many plusses in facing teams that you normally don’t see throughout the season. “It is good for us to play against a lot of different teams that we don’t see throughout the year, gain experience, and build off of that each round and tournament.” Gring went on to say, “Most of these teams play throughout the entire year, but this type of competition allows us to see what we need to improve and work on.”
Eric Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward) led the individual side of the competition for the Crusaders, hitting a 73 and a 71, good for a two round total of even par at 144. Gring has been liking what he has been seeing from Winters as of late. “Eric played very consistently for us today with seven birdies on the day and hitting a lot of greens in regulation.” Gring continued, “He will get more of his putts to drop and terrific scores are on the near horizon.”
Jared Magoline (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac [Marquette]) followed Winters closely as he carded rounds of 73 and 75, for a total of 148. Rounding out the team was Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio/Carroll), who posted a round of even-par 72 and finished at 150 through 36 holes, Peter Webb (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) who had a two-round total of 155, and Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo./Timberland) who hit 159 in his 36 holes.
The Crusaders will look to end the tournament on a high note when they take to the course for the final 18 holes of the Wallace Jones Invitational. Results and a full recap will be available at valpoathletics.com