The Valparaiso University men’s golf team finished with a 54-hole team score of 921 at the Crusader Collegiate following Wednesday’s third round, placing third in the event. Valpo rounded out the tournament with its best round as a team, posting a 300 on the final day of competition at Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton, Ind.
How It Happened
- Freshman Drew Alexander (McCordsville, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) tied for the best score of any Crusader, finishing his first collegiate tournament at 228 (+12). He had the best round of any Valpo player on Wednesday, accumulating a 72 to finish tied for seventh overall.
- Matching Alexander’s team-leading score of 228 was senior Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North), who carded a 73 on the final day of competition.
- Sophomore Jeremy Wu (Medford, Ore. / St. Mary’s), competing as an individual, turned in a 76 in Round 3 to finish the tournament tied for ninth with a 232.
- Senior Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo. / Timberland) finished at t-14 after stroking a 234 (+18), while freshmen Brett Seward (Aurora, Ill. / Aurora Christian) and Jack Juskow (Greenville, S.C. / Hamilton Southeastern) finished with a 235 and a 239 respectively.
- Matthew McCarthy (O’Fallon, Ill. / Althoff Catholic), Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Ill. / Kaukauna) and Ross Lazar (Okemos, Mich. / Okemos) all competed in the Crusader Collegiate as individuals.
Inside the Rounds
- Valpo finished seven strokes in back of event-champion Wright State, while Missouri Valley Conference foe Bradley edged the Crusaders by three strokes for second. The Crusaders also finished ahead of an MVC competitor, as Loyola was fourth at 924 in a tightly-contested field.
- The Crusaders enjoyed the best birdie-production of any team, racking up 34 over the three rounds.
- Cutler finished with nine birdies to lead all competitors, with Doherty close behind with eight.
- Alexander averaged a 4.67 on Par 5s, while Juskow thrived on Par 3 holes, averaging a 3.17.
- Alexander became the first freshman since Peter Webb to pace the Crusaders in a season-opening tournament. Webb, who went on to set the program record for career scoring average, led Valpo at the Battle in the Tetons to begin the 2013 campaign.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“It was a thrill for all four teams to be in the hunt with about six holes remaining. All of the players and coaches were very engaged in the event since the scoring was so close. Even though the steady rain on the front nine made most of the holes quite challenging, the guys played hard, all the way down to the final hole."
"The last nine holes of the tournament were our best nine holes and I was pleased with the strong effort by the guys coming down the stretch. Our team score improved with each round of the tournament and our birdie production was the best of all three rounds. These are good indications of the team playing smarter and more effective as the tournament was progressed.
"The Crusader Collegiate is our only home tournament of the year and I was very pleased with how our team performed along with our ability to host our competitors in the event. I'm grateful to our volunteers, the Athletic Department and the family and friends who came out to support us. Our friends at Sand Creek Country Club were fantastic to work with and the golf course was in amazing shape the entire tournament."
The Crusaders will be back on the course on Sunday as they compete in the Golfweek Program Challenge, which runs through Wednesday at True Blue GC in Pawleys Island, S.C.