Hosting a women’s golf tournament for the first time in program history, Valparaiso turned in a stellar opening round of 320 on Monday to finish the opening 18 holes of the Valpo Invitational in third place out of a field of 13 teams at the Course at Aberdeen.
The Crusaders round of 320 ties the third best 18-hole score in program history and is tied for second in relation to par (+32) all-time. Butler holds the lead at the midway point after shooting 312 while Bethel (Ind.) is just two strokes ahead of Valpo at 318. IUPUI and Loyola are two shots behind the Brown and Gold at 322.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” head coach Mat Blair said after the round. “We’re definitely headed in the right direction. We hope to play one shot at a time again tomorrow and see where we end up.”
Kelly Voigt (Palatine, Ill./Fremd H.S.) led the way for the Crusaders matching a school record after carding a four-over par 76. The sophomore opened her round with nine straight pars on the front nine after starting on hole number one, and added a late birdie on 17 to cap her round.
Voigt shares the school record with teammate Brianna Davy (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.), who posted a 76 last October at the Butler Fall Invitational. Today, Davy turned in the team’s second best score, firing a 79 on the 6,151-yard, par-72 layout and is tied for 10th place heading into the final round.
A pair of birdies, including one on number one, her final hole of the day, helped Michelle Kleckner (New Brighton, Minn./Irondale H.S.) finish with an 81 and is tied for 20th. Erika Pfaender (Pewaukee, Wis./Arrowhead H.S.) added an 84 to round out the Crusader scorers on the first day of play in the 36-hole event, and enters Tuesday tied for 36th.
Jessica O’Brien (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) matched her collegiate best with an 85 on Valpo’s home course.
Three Crusaders also are playing in the as individuals. Freshman A.J. Selig (Hortonville, Wis./Appleton West H.S.) carded an opening round 85 while Alyssa Cameron (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw H.S.) added a 97 for the Brown and Gold. Kathleen Cooper (Hobart, Ind./Hobart H.S.) shot 105 in round one.
Butler’s Michele Nash shot even par 72 and holds a three stroke lead over IUPUI’s Jordan Woods for the individual crown. Voigt is tied with Melanie Day of Bethel (Ind.) for third heading into the final round.
Play will resume on Tuesday morning at the Course of Aberdeen for the final round of play. The shotgun start will begin at 9:30 a.m.