Strong Second Round Highlights Opening Day of Weibring Intercollegiate for Crusaders
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Strong Second Round Highlights Opening Day of Weibring Intercollegiate for Crusaders
Mitchell Wittmann finished the first day of competition tied for ninth overall.

The Valparaiso University men’s golf team had an impressive showing in the second round of the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate on Saturday at Weibring Golf Club in Normal, Ill. The Crusaders trimmed 24 strokes off their team score from the opening round with a 297 in Round 2, one of six teams in the 17-team field to go sub-300 in the second round.

How It Happened

  • A strong effort from Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) led the way for Valpo on Saturday. He carded a team-best 76 in the opening round, then made a three-stroke improvement with a 73 in Round 2. He finished the first day of the event with a 36-hole score of 149 (+7), tied for ninth overall.
  • Brett Seward (Aurora, Ill. / Aurora Christian) bounced back from an 82 in the opening round with a 73 in Round 2 to finish the day at 155 (+13), which put him in a tie for 43rd.
  • Drew Alexander (McCordsville, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) also made a drastic improvement from the opening round to the second round, going from an 84 to a 74. He finished the day at 158 (+16), tied for 62nd.
  • Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North) was the fourth Crusader to go sub-80 in the second round, turning in a 77 to finish his day at 159 (+17), tied for 64th.

Inside the Rounds

  • Valpo had good success on Par 3 holes, averaging a 3.50, tied for fourth among participating teams.
  • The Crusaders turned in 18 birdies, the sixth-most of the 17 teams in the field. Alexander led the team in that area, racking up five birdies.
  • Valpo is tied for 11th with Creighton in the team standings as both squads enter Sunday’s final round at 618. The Crusaders are ahead of Detroit Mercy (621), Western Illinois (621), Northern Iowa (624), Butler (629) and DePaul (634).
  • The Crusaders are just one stroke behind Northern Illinois and three behind an eighth-place tie between Missouri Valley Conference members Drake and Evansville.
  • The rounds were played under unfavorable conditions as it was cold during the opening round and windy throughout the day.
  • The second round on Saturday marked Valpo’s third sub-300 round of the 2017-18 campaign.

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring

“In our morning round, we struggled to find any rhythm, starting the round slowly and never getting any momentum. Our birdie production was very poor, with only five during the round and three of those coming late in the round.  Even though we had to play through a very cold and windy start to the day, we still needed to get the round started more efficiently."

“In the afternoon round, we played the Par 3s and Par 5s slightly better, but the real difference was a big improvement in the Par 4s. Our ball-striking was much better; we hit a lot more approach shots closer to the hole and our birdie production improved, with 13 in the second round. We had a very good start to the second round and played the front nine even par as a team.”

“The guys really impressed me today with bouncing back from a poor performance in the first round to a very solid second round. The wind shifted almost 180 degrees from the morning round, the guys adjusted well to that wind change on the golf course and played very smart, despite 25-30 mph winds almost all day. The conditions were the most challenging that we had played all year, when you combine wind and temperature. The bounce-back second round was a big confidence boost for us and the guys really stuck with it and stayed focus, despite a lot of adversity out there.”

“Mitch's ball-striking seems to keep getting better almost every round this spring. He is really playing with a lot of confidence. When you combine a terrific short game with excellent ball-striking, you're going to have some real good results and all of that is trending well for Mitch.  He gave himself a lot of birdie opportunities and that is always going to pay dividends at the end of the round.”

Up Next

The Crusaders will round out the tournament with one more round on Easter Sunday at Weibring Golf Course in Normal, Ill. Live scoring is available via BirdieFire.