Willis Leads Way on Day 1 in Indy
Monday, April 1, 2019
Willis Leads Way on Day 1 in Indy
Garrett Willis had a career-low 69 (-1) on Monday.

A career best from freshman Garrett Willis (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead) paced the Valparaiso University men’s golf team on Day 1 of the Butler Spring Invitational hosted at Highland Golf and Country Club in Indianapolis. Monday’s originally-scheduled morning round was cancelled due to cold and course conditions, but the afternoon round went on as scheduled as the tournament format was tweaked from 54 holes to 36.

How It Happened

  • Willis carded a 69, one stroke under par to lead the way for Valpo. He is tied for second among all individuals in the field, chasing only IUPUI’s Nick Bienz, who stroked a 64 (-6). Willis outdid his previous low round of 70, which occurred on Sept. 24 at the Derek Dolenc Invitational. His 69 is tied with three others for the best round by a Valpo golfer this season.
  • Fellow freshman Charlie Toman (Chardon, Ohio / Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) also had a quality afternoon, posting a 72 (+2). He too stands in the Top 10 overall, tied for 10th.
  • The remainder of Valpo’s team all posted the exact same score at 76 (+6). Three members of the lineup – Jack Juskow (Greenville, S.C. / Hamilton Southeastern), Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) and Brett Seward (Aurora, Ill. / Aurora Christian) – all carded that score, as did two Valpo players golfing as individuals – Jeremy Wu (Medford, Ore. / St. Mary’s) and Lance Picton (Oro Valley, Ariz. / Canyon del Oro).
  • Valpo finished the day fifth of eight in the team scoring at 293 (+13). The team is just two strokes behind fourth-place Butler and five behind third-place Oakland. Valpo holds a two-stroke lead over sixth-place Ohio and is also in front of Fort Wayne and Detroit Mercy.  

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring

“We had a couple of the guys hit the ball really well today. Brett and Charlie hit 15 greens in regulation, but both of the guys had their struggles putting on the greens. Our scores were quite consistent, but not where we need them. While we had a lot of pars and not many big holes, we simply didn’t make enough birdies and we lost some opportunities getting up and down.”

“We continue to improve this spring season and the guys are playing with more confidence every tournament. We’re getting close to turning the corner, but we’re still kicking the short game rust off from the winter. The guys are staying patient and giving it their best while on the course.”

“I was happy to see Garrett with a strong round this afternoon. He played very consistently and steady for us. His short game was sharp around the greens including a few sand saves. The speed with his putting was impressive and he made some good birdie putts.”

Up Next

The second and final round of the event will occur on Tuesday morning. A shotgun start is slated for 9 a.m. CT / 10 a.m. ET.