Strong Second Round Highlights First Day of MVC Championship for Valpo Men’s Golf
Monday, April 23, 2018
Strong Second Round Highlights First Day of MVC Championship for Valpo Men’s Golf
Mitchell Wittmann is tied for fifth with one round to go in the MVC Championship.

The Valparaiso University men’s golf team competed in its first day of MVC Championship activity at Dalhousie Country Club in Cape Girardeau, Mo. on Monday. The Crusaders posted the second-best Round 2 score in the nine-team field behind only tournament leader Bradley. Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) is tied for fifth in the 45-player tournament.

How It Happened

  • Wittmann opened with a 79 in Round 1 before making a significant improvement with a 70 in the second round of play. He enters the final day at 149, tied for fifth with four others. Wittmann had four birdies and 12 pars in Round 1.
  • Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North) turned in a 78 in the first round to lead the Crusaders before bettering that score to a 74 in Round 2. He stands at 152 (t-12th) with one round to go.
  • Valpo’s freshman duo of Drew Alexander (McCordsville, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) and Brett Seward (Aurora, Ill. / Aurora Christian) scored 156 and 160, respectively, over 36 holes on their first day of conference tournament play at the collegiate level.
  • Matthew McCarthy (O’Fallon, Ill. / Althoff Catholic) stands at 165 through two rounds.

Inside the Rounds

  • Bradley individuals hold the top three spots, led by Drake Bushong at 145 (+1).
  • The Braves own a team score of 587 entering the final day and own a 19-stroke lead on second-place Illinois State and Southern Illinois.
  • Valpo has a team score of 613, only two strokes behind Missouri State for fourth and seven in back of the second-place tie between the Redbirds and Salukis.
  • Wittmann’s 70 was a season watermark and was one stroke away from his career-low of 69, carded at the Ram Masters Invitational on Sept. 20, 2016.
  • Valpo’s Round 2 score of 296 was the program’s best 18-hole score in a conference championship since 2013, when the Crusaders last went to the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Crusaders are exceeding expectations considerably thus far as they were picked to finish ninth of 10 in the Pre-Championship Poll of MVC coaches.
  • Valpo has the best Par 3 scoring average of any team in the field as the Crusaders stand at 3.10 on Par 3 holes.
  • The Crusaders have racked up 19 birdies, fourth-most in the conference. They are led in that area by Wittmann with six, while Doherty has five.

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring

“We talked about the importance of starting the tournament well, especially with our players opening Round 1 on the toughest part of the course. The guys responded well to the challenge and seemed to settle in well. The weather was the most inclement of the day to start the round, with a lot of rain and wind, but they didn't let that bother them. We struggled finishing Round 1 and we lost some good ground over the last four holes.”

“We lost some good momentum finishing the first round, but the guys bounced back quickly and had a solid start to the second round. When we made the early turn to the front nine, the team played well, with eight birdies. The guys hit a lot of fairways and greens and we had a lot of looks at birdie. We couldn't get the putts to drop in the early part of the first round, but we made a lot more in the second round. We kept the double bogeys to a minimum, and that helped our team score in the afternoon round.”

“I was very impressed with the team really digging in during the second round and showing a lot of character to keep battling, after a tough first round. The guys never gave up and seemed to almost embrace the poor course conditions.  Our young team has demonstrated that all spring and it paid off today.”

“Michael's ball striking was steady all day, especially off the tee, hitting a lot of fairways. He had a number of good looks at birdie in both rounds, turning in five birdies for the first two rounds.  Brett bounced back very well for us in the second round, shooting even par on the front nine with three birdies. He found a good rhythm in the second round, hitting a lot of greens in regulation.”

“Mitch had his best round of the year in the second round and he played very determined and focused. He had his struggles off the tee in the first round, but he made adjustments during the first round and it paid dividends in the second round. His chipping and putting was solid, along with his approach shots into the greens. Four birdies and 12 pars in the second round is fabulous, especially in today's conditions.”

Up Next

The Crusaders will conclude the MVC Championship with the final round on Tuesday at Dalhousie Country Club in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Live scoring is available courtesy of GolfStat.