All five members of the Valparaiso University men’s golf lineup finished within four strokes of one another on the opening day of the Twin Oaks Intercollegiate on Monday at Twin Oaks Country Club in Springfield, Mo. Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North) led the group of tightly-contested Crusaders by carding a 149 through 36 holes. An additional 18 will be played on Tuesday to round out the tournament.
How It Happened
- Doherty and Ross Lazar (Okemos, Mich. / Okemos) both turned in 73s in the opening round. Doherty followed with a 76 in Round 2, finishing the first day of competition at 149 (+7), tied for 31st overall.
- Lazar completed his day with a 78 in the second round to total 151, a score that placed him in a tie for 38th.
- Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) displayed strong consistency, posting a 76 in both rounds to finish at 152 through two. He and Brett Seward (Aurora, Ill. / Aurora Christian) were both part of the tie for 42nd as Seward stroked 76-74.
- Jeremy Wu (Medford, Ore. / St. Mary’s) rounded out the lineup with a 153 (T-51) while Jack Juskow (Greenville, S.C. / Hamilton Southeastern) golfed individually and scored a 156 (64th).
Inside the Rounds
- Valpo finished the opening round with a 298, the team’s third sub-300 round this season and second of the spring.
- The Crusaders are in 10th place with 18 holes to go after totaling a 601 on Day 1 following a Round 2 score of 303. Valpo has a 15-stroke lead on 11th-place Evangel, and is very close with several competitors who are slightly ahead in the standings.
- Green Bay (599), Creighton (600) and Valpo (601) are neck-and-neck for eighth through 10th in the team standings.
- Missouri Valley Conference foes UNI (590) and Loyola (594) are sixth and seventh, respectively. Valley schools hold the top two spots in the team standings, with Bradley first at 569 and host Missouri State right behind at 570.
- Lazar’s 73 in the first round was four strokes better than his previous season best and also marked a new career low for the Valpo sophomore. His previous best round was a 74 on two occasions as a freshman – Sept. 7 in Round 3 of the Crusader Collegiate and Sept. 20 in Round 2 of the Ram Masters Invitational.
- Valpo’s best output came on Par 4 holes as the Crusaders posted a 4.22 average on those holes that ranks fourth in the 11-team field.
- Valpo racked up 61 pars on the opening day of competition, second only to UNI (62) in the entire field. However, the team had just four birdies, two coming courtesy of Doherty.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“In our opening round, we played the Par 3s well and made a lot of good decisions regarding club choices and where to hit on the greens. Our birdie production was adequate, but we still left some good opportunities out there. We did pretty well avoiding the big holes and finished the round playing the front nine very solid.”
“In the second round, our birdie production was very poor and there were three holes on the back nine where we had our struggles. Our execution wasn't as sharp as the morning round, even though we had a lot of pars. The Par 3s are challenging and we didn't execute as well on them in the afternoon round.”
“Tomorrow we will need to make better decisions as to locations that we are hitting on the greens so that we don't have low-percentage putts. We will need to attack the Par 5s better since there are some nice opportunities on this course. Lastly, the back nine has some of the toughest holes on the course, and we will need to have a solid start to the round since we commence the round on Hole 10.”
The Crusaders will complete the Twin Oaks Intercollegiate at Twin Oaks Country Club in Springfield, Mo. on Tuesday with Round 3. Live scoring is available via BirdieFire. Tee times begin at 8 a.m.