The Valparaiso University women’s golf team started the 2021-2022 season in record-setting fashion at this weekend’s Redbird Invitational, which concluded on Monday at the par-72, 6022-yard Weibring Golf Club in Normal, Ill. Valpo closed out the weekend with its best round of the event, in the process polishing off a new program record for 54-hole team score, both overall and in relation to par.
How It Happened
- Freshman Madison Keil (LaGrange, Ind. / Lakeland) boasted Valpo’s best score of the day on Monday, carding a 75 (+3) to cap the tournament at 233 (+17).
- Junior Cailey Rooker (St. Joseph, Mich. / St. Joseph) posted a 77 on Monday to finish the event with a 227 (+11). She completed the weekend as the team leader and ranked tied for 33rd in an 89-golfer field.
- Four Beacons finished with sub-80 rounds on Monday as senior Payton Hodson (Middleton, Wis. / Middleton) carded a 78 while freshman Anna Fay (Ada, Mich. / Forest Hills) turned in a 77. Hodson and Fay finished with total scores of 234 and 237, respectively.
- Valpo overtook Western Illinois in the team standings on Monday and finished just five strokes behind Missouri Valley Conference foe Indiana State. Eastern Kentucky captured the team title, while IUPUI’s Amelie Svejda was the individual medalist.
Inside the Round
- Valpo’s team score of 931 shattered the previous 54-hole program record of 941 that had stood since the Fort Wayne Classic in April 2017.
- The Beacons also established a new program watermark for 54-hole tournament low in relation to par at +67, 10 strokes better than the previous record of +77 at the Loyola Fall Invitational on Sept. 16-17, 2019.
- The team’s Monday score of 307 (+19) cracked the program’s top 10 in terms of 18-hole stroke count. The 307 ranks tied for sixth all-time in overall score and is Valpo’s best mark since the first round of the Fort Wayne Classic on April 2, 2017.
- In addition, the +19 is tied for the fourth-best score in program history in relation to par. Monday marked Valpo’s best 18-hole score in relation to par since Oct. 29, 2013 (+19 at Braun Intercollegiate).
- Rooker’s tournament score of 227 was two strokes away from Michelle Kleckner’s individual program record of 225 that has stood since 2013. Rooker’s performance ranks third in program history and was the best 54-hole tournament in terms of overall score by a Valpo women’s golfer since 2015 (Angie Kim, 226 at Bucknell Invitational).
- In relation to par, Rooker finished the event at +11, which ranks second in the Valpo record book. Kayla Krueger’s +9 at the 2019 Loyola Fall Invitational represents the program record.
- Keil had four birdies in Round 3 alone, tied for the third most of any participant in the 89-player event.
Thoughts from Head Coach Jill McCoy
“It was a lot of fun to be on the golf course today. The girls played some really great golf this weekend, and I am excited to see what this season will bring. This was a phenomenal start to the season. Maddie Keil started her round with a double bogey today and followed it up with birdie, birdie, birdie, par and birdie.”
The Beacons will return to the course on Monday, Sept. 20 at the Cardinal Classic, which will be hosted by Ball State at the Players Club in Yorktown, Ind.