It was a mix of the past, present and future for the Valparaiso University women’s golf team in the final round of the Horizon League Championships on Tuesday in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. Strong performances from a pair of underclassmen built excitement for the future, while the final collegiate rounds for a pair of seniors led to reflection on the past.
How It Happened
- As a team, the Crusaders climbed over Detroit Mercy in the team standings in Round 3 to finish in fifth at 960 (+96).
- Freshman Tiffany Curtis (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point) led the Crusaders out of the No. 5 position, finishing with a 54-hole score of 236, tied for 11th overall. Curtis carded a 76 on the final day of competition.
- The top Valpo player in Round 3 was sophomore Madison McCreary (Batesville, Ind. / Batesville), who cut 16 strokes off her Round 2 score with a 75 in Round 3. She finished the three days at 248, tied for 27th.
- Kylie Shoemake (Schererville, Ind. / Lake Central) finished second on the team and tied for 20th overall with a total score of 243. She rounded out the event with an 84 on Tuesday.
- Narrowly behind Shoemake was senior Angie Kim (Schaumberg, Ill. / Fremd) at 244, placing 22nd. She carded an 83 in her final collegiate round on Tuesday.
- Sydney Shrum (Cloverdale, Ind. / Cloverdale) also played in her final collegiate tournament, posting an 83 in Round 3 to finish at 251, in 32nd.
Inside the Rounds
- Shrum had an eagle for the Crusaders – one of four eagles in the event.
- Curtis led the Crusaders with six birdies, while McCreary had five.
- Kim had 30 pars to lead the Crusaders.
- Curtis matched a career low by stroking a 76 in Round 3.
- Kim finishes with a career scoring average of 81.27 and a season average of 79.78. Her career average ranks narrowly behind Kelly Voigt (2010-2014) for the program record. Voigt finished at 81.25. Kim stands in second in Crusader history.
- Willenbrink finishes the season at 79.70 to lead the Crusaders. Her season average ranks third in program history, while Kim’s 2016-17 season average now sits fourth. Voigt holds the single-season scoring average record at 77.52 (2012-13), while Michelle Kleckner is second at 78.71.
- Valpo finishes the season with a team scoring average of 322.17, which shatters the program record for team season scoring average. The previous best for the program, which began in 2009, was 323.4 in 2012-13.
Standings – Final
4 1 1 Cleveland State 319 302 307 928 +64
3 3 2 Youngstown State 315 310 306 931 +67
1 2 3 Northern Kentucky 304 318 313 935 +71
2 4 4 Oakland 312 316 310 938 +74
T5 6 5 Valparaiso 324 319 317 960 +96
7 5 6 Detroit Mercy 327 315 323 965 +101
T5 7 7 Illinois-Chicago 324 332 333 989 +125
8 8 8 Green Bay 342 322 329 993 +129
Thoughts from Head Coach Jon Haas
“I am really proud of my team, especially Tiffany and Madison who came in with the lowest scores today and helped us get fifth as a team. It’s great to see a sophomore and a freshman lead in the final round. Kylie fought hard today and finished strong. Today was officially Angie and Sydney’s last collegiate tournament. It was great to see Sydney have an eagle during her round. Angie might not have had the best three days, but she fought hard and maintained consistency throughout. I will definitely miss Angie and Sydney. They have been great leaders to the team and it was a great experience being able to coach them.”