Cutler Sets New Record As Men’s Golf Opens Season
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Cutler Sets New Record As Men’s Golf Opens Season
Zach Cutler shattered the program's 36-hole tournament record.

The Valparaiso University men’s golf team kicked off the 2016-17 season Saturday at the Notre Dame Kick Off Classic, finishing in second place over 36 holes at Warren G.C. The Crusaders’ performance was highlighted by the play of junior Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo./Timberland), who easily set a new program record for scoring in a 36-hole event.

How It Happened

  • Cutler opened the tournament with a round of 67 over the par-71 circuit to lead through 18 holes. The junior followed with a second-round 70 to finish at 137 (-5), just two shots back of Notre Dame’s John Felitto for individual medalist honors.
  • Cutler carded just one bogey over the 36 holes on his way to besting the previous program record for a 36-hole event by five strokes.
  • Sophomore Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna) was the second-best Crusader on Saturday, opening the tournament with an even-par 71 and finishing with a 36-hole total of 146, good for 11th place overall.
  • Senior Peter Webb (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) bounced back from a tough opening round to shoot a two-under round of 69 over the final 18 holes, closing with a total of 148 to finish in 14th position.
  • The Crusaders shot team rounds of 294 and 290 for a 36-hole total of 584, six shots clear of Horizon League rival Detroit for second place. The host Fighting Irish claimed the team title with a score of 557.

Inside the Tournament

  • Current senior Nick Seitz held the previous record for a 36-hole tournament, as he carded a two-round score of 142 at the 2015 Wolfpack Spring Open. Both Seitz and Cutler held the previous mark over 36 holes in relation to par at even par, as Cutler shot even par at the 2014 CSU Cougar Classic.
  • Cutler’s opening-round 67 tied for the fourth-lowest in program history, just two strokes off the program record. It also marked a career-low round for the junior.
  • Freshman Ross Lazar (Okemos, Mich./Okemos) made his Crusader debut on Saturday, shooting rounds of 78 and 76 to finish 19th.

Thoughts From Head Coach David Gring

“The team was excited for the start of the season and today's event was an excellent way to get the competitive season underway. The Warren Course is a terrific golf course and I thought the team played well, with most of our players seeing the course for only the second and third time.”

"While the ball-striking was decent, our chipping and sand shots around the green were sharp and that helped us stay in a number of holes. Overall, I was pleased with the course management and I felt we did a nice job selecting high-percentage shots. We need to hit more greens in regulation and get the ball closer to the hole for more birdie opportunities.”

“Zach Cutler played 36 holes for us today with one bogey and six birdies. He was very sharp from tee to green and his short game was terrific all day. He still left a number of good putts out there, but Zach is playing at a high level of confidence and really visualizing what he wants to do with the ball. Zach had a terrific summer of play and I'm not surprised at all in his performance today.”

“We are looking forward to hosting our first home tournament since 2009. The entire team will play in our event and we are looking forward to some quality golf at Sand Creek Country Club.”

Next Up

Valparaiso comes home to host the Crusader Collegiate next week on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 6-7. The two-day event will take place at Sand Creek C.C. in Chesterton.