The Valparaiso University men’s golf team jumped three spots in the team standings on the second day of competition at the Hoosier Collegiate at Otter Creek on Sunday, closing out the 36-hole event in a tie for ninth place.
The Crusaders posted a team score of 296 on Sunday, seven shots improved from their Saturday effort, to jump from 12th position into joint ninth place with IUPUI at 599. Purdue and Miami (Ohio) tied for top team honors, shooting a 578 over the 36 holes.
“We've talked about finishing our tournaments with our best score in the final round, and we accomplished that today,” said Crusader head coach David Gring. “While we gave a number of strokes back in the last few holes, I was proud of the effort by the guys, with the team playing under par for most of the day.”
Junior Peter Webb (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) led Valpo, finishing in a tie for 13th place at two-over 146 despite posting a round of 76 on Sunday. Senior Jared Magoline (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac [Marquette]) matched his best round of the season, tallying four birdies in his first six holes on Sunday en route to a round of 69. Magoline jumped 39 spots in the individual standings on Sunday, moving into a tie for 23rd place as he shot four-over 148 for the 36 holes.
Sophomore Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo./Timberland) tallied six birdies on his Sunday scorecard, finishing the tournament tied for second with eight total birdies, and finished with a final-round 74 to close the event at 151, tied for 42nd position. Senior Matt Ward (Plainfield, Ill./South) improved by one stroke on Sunday, shooting a 77 to post a 36-hole score of 155, while freshman Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna) recorded a round of 78 for the second straight day to finish at 156.
“It was good to see some quality birdie production from the entire team today, especially Zach Cutler and Jared Magoline,” said Gring. “Both Zach and Jared had four birdies each on the front nine for us today and Zach had six birdies total on the day. While the ball-striking by both of the guys was excellent, the putting was exceptional from a variety of distances – including a number of them from ten to twenty feet.”
Valparaiso competes in its final tournament prior to the Horizon League Championship next weekend, as the Crusaders travel to Muncie, Ind. to compete in the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational, beginning on Friday, Apr. 15.
“The conditions were challenging and the golf course was a good test for us,” said Gring. “We can definitely take a lot of positives from this weekend's rounds and continue to build on those as we are on the home stretch of our season.”