The Valparaiso University women’s golf team began the Benbow Invitational on Monday, an event hosted by Butler University at Blue Sky Golf Club in Jacksonville, Fla. The first of two rounds took place on the first day of competition, with the Crusaders posting a team score of 336.
How It Happened
- Sophomore Kayla Krueger (Spring Lake, Mich. / Spring Lake) matched her career low and shattered her season watermark by turning in a team-best 77 out of the No. 5 slot in Valpo’s lineup. She enters Day 2 tied for eighth in the individual standings and is nine strokes clear of the closest Crusader.
- Kylie Shoemake (Schererville, Ind. / Lake Central) and Tiffany Curtis (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point) both finished Day 1 tied for 37th at 86. Katie Willenbrink (Mishawaka, Ind. / Penn) turned in an 87, while Madison McCreary (Batesville, Ind. / Batesville) carded a 93.
- Three Crusaders are participating in the event as individuals. Kiana Jongsma (Dyer, Ind. / Lake Central) scored a 91 on Monday to lead a trio that also includes Shelby Schier (Greenwood, Ind. / Center Grove) and Grace McMinn (Omaha, Neb. / Marian).
Inside the Round
- Krueger outdid her previous season-best of 80 by three strokes. That mark came on Sept. 18 at the Loyola Fall Invitational.
- Krueger carded a 77 on one prior occasion in her career – Sept. 12, 2016 in the second round of the Golfweek Program Challenge.
- The Crusaders’ score of 336 (+48) puts them in seventh of 10 in the team standings. They are nine strokes behind the fifth-place tie between The Citadel and Lehigh and six strokes ahead of eighth-place Eastern Illinois.
- Host Butler holds a narrow one-stroke lead over St. John’s for the top spot in the team standings. Butler’s Lauren Tibbets is the top individual through one round at an even par of 72.
Thoughts from Head Coach Jon Haas
“Having our entire team out on grass for the first time this spring was a great experience today. We definitely took a few holes to shake off some of the winter rust, but we finished strong. In addition to being outside, we played in very strong winds that we will likely see in Newton at the conference championship.”
“Kayla put together another very solid round for us. All of her hard work since last April is really starting to pay off. I’m extremely proud of her.”
The Crusaders will close out the Benbow Invitational with 18 mores holes on Tuesday in Jacksonville, Fla. The event will use an 8 a.m. shotgun start.