Valparaiso University’s Annie Nolan (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) shot a final round 79 on Tuesday and made a par on the first playoff hole to win the Green Bay Invitational held at the Green Bay Country Club in Green Bay, Wis. Nolan’s performance helped lead the Crusaders to a second place finish as a team.
“I’m really proud of this team right now,” head coach Mike Higdon said. “This is a big step forward for our program over the last couple of days both from a team and an individual stand point. We played hard all day and were able to grind it out on a difficult day to take home second place.”
Nolan finished with rounds of 78 and 79 for a 157 total, tying Nikki Miller and Ann Vrodolyak, both of Loyola (Chicago), for the tournament’s low total. The Crusader sophomore then won the playoff with her par on the 272-yard opening hole to capture her first collegiate title on the 5,898-yard, par 73 layout.
“Annie played solid all week,” Higdon said. “She entered the tournament as our only player with collegiate experience and made the most of it. She hit solid shots throughout, including the playoff, to win.”
As a team Valpo shot 333 on day two to finish at 657, 21 strokes behind champion Loyola. The Crusaders were two shots ahead of third place North Dakota and six in front of host Green Bay. The runner-up finish for Valpo is the best in program history.
Freshmen Erika Pfaender (Pewaukee, Wis./Arrowhead H.S.) and Michelle Kleckner (New Brighton, Minn./Irondale H.S.) finished tied for 12th overall at 165. Pfaender bettered her first round by a stroke with an 82 on Tuesday while Kleckner, the tournament’s day one leader, fired an 88.
Kelly Voigt (Palatine, Ill./Fremd H.S.) closed out Valpo’s scoring for the day with an 84, four strokes better than on Monday to finish at 172 while Brianna Davy (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) shot 88 to finish at 174. For Voigt and Davy, it was their first collegiate tournaments as well.
Valparaiso will return to the links next Monday in Hammond, Ind. as the Crusaders play in the Chicago State Fall Invitational at Lost Marsh Golf Course.