The Valparaiso University men’s golf team took to the links Saturday afternoon for the start of its last tournament before the Horizon League Championships. This time, the action took place at the Lonnie Poole Golf Club, in Raleigh, N.C. for the Wolfpack Spring Open. Over the opening 18 holes of a 36-hole tournament, the Crusaders carded a 298 as a team and currently sit in ninth place behind leader and tournament host North Carolina State.
Head coach David Gring sees his team’s progress and knows that they are not that far away from a stellar performance. “We are improving with each round and the guys were really close to turning in a team score that better reflected the shot-making that was taking place on the course,” said Gring. “We had a handful of big number holes and some poor scoring on the par-5's, but those are areas that we can improve tomorrow.”
On the individual side of the scoresheet, Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio/Carroll) paced the Crusaders with a 71, good for a share of 14th place. Also in the top-25 was Eric Winters (Elgin, Ill/Saint Edward), whose 73 was good enough for a 23rd-place tie after day one. Gring was pleased with his top two scorers’ play. “The ball-striking by Nick Seitz and Eric Winters was terrific all day,” Gring said. “Both guys tallied lots of pars and showcased excellent course management on a very solid golf course.”
Peter Webb (Madison, Wis/James Madison Memorial) and Joe Harris (Washington, Iowa/Washington) both penciled in a 77 on the scoreboard, with Jared Maglione's (Fond du Lac, Wis/Fond du Lac [Marquette]) 79 rounding out the team effort. One last Crusader took to the course outside of the team, as Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo/Timberland) saw action as an individual and posted a 77 as well.
One thing that Gring pointed out was his team’s play on the par-3’s. “I'm pleased with our par-3 scoring over the past two competitive rounds,” said Gring. “We have been working on this area of our games and the guys are making good decisions on the course. Winters, Webb, and Magoline led the way for us today on those holes.”
The Crusaders will finish off the quick two-round tournament Sunday before heading back to Valparaiso to start preparing for the Horizon League Championships. The full recap and final scores will be available Sunday evening at ValpoAthletics.com.