Hosting its first tournament since 2009, the Valparaiso University men’s golf team closed out the first day of the Crusader Collegiate at Sand Creek C.C. in Chesterton in second place.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders finished the day with a 36-hole total of 597, good for second place out of the four competing teams. Valpo was just three shots back of Bradley after the opening round, but the Braves posted the best team round of the day in the second round to pull ahead by 18 strokes.
- Valpo enters the final 18 holes ahead of both fellow Horizon League teams in the field. The Crusaders are seven strokes clear of Wright State, while Detroit sits in fourth place entering Wednesday’s final round.
- Four Valpo golfers sit in the top-10 through 36 holes, led by junior Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo./Timberland). Cutler posted rounds of 71 and 74 on Tuesday to finish the day in a tie for third place, just one shot back of the lead.
- Sophomore Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna) shot rounds of 74 and 73 to post a score of 147 on Tuesday, good for seventh heading into the final round. Both senior Peter Webb (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) and junior Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill./Naperville North) sit at 154 through 36 holes and are tied for 10th place.
Inside the Tournament
- The Crusader Collegiate is just the second event the Valpo men’s golf program has hosted since its reinstatement in 2009. The only prior tournament was a dual match against Chicago State early in the 2009-10 season.
- Nine Crusaders in all are playing this week, with four Crusaders competing as individuals. Making their Valpo debuts as individuals are freshmen Matthew McCarthy (O’Fallon, Ill./Althoff Catholic) and Jeremy Wu (Medford, Ore./St. Mary’s).
Thoughts From Head Coach David Gring
“We played well in the morning round, with four out of five of our team scores at or under 75. The afternoon round was a struggle, with only two of the team scores under 75. Our birdie production really fell off in the second round with only eight birdies, versus eighteen in the first round. We simply did not have as many quality looks at birdie in the second round.”
“Zach and Mitch were very steady for us today. Mitch had eight birdies on the day and Zach had twenty-six pars, including fifteen in the first round alone. Both of the guys had a lot of good looks at birdie putts, and the greens were an excellent challenge for the entire team.”
“The golf course was in tremendous shape and it was a joy to putt on such excellent greens. We will look forward to tomorrow's round and chasing down the leaders.”
The 54-hole event concludes on Wednesday morning, as the teams will be sent off in a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.