Austin Gaugert (Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger H.S.) shot Valparaiso’s first under par round this season, carding a three-under 67 to lead the Crusaders to a 13th place finish at the Big Blue Intercollegiate held at King’s Creek Golf Club in Spring Hill, Tenn.
“We have been talking all year long about finishing strong and Austin finished with three birdies over the last four holes,” head coach Mike Higdon said. “I was quite proud of him for that.”
Gaugert carded four birdies and just one bogey to on Tuesday to finish the tournament at four-over par 214 to finish in 14th place overall for the Crusaders, on the 6,807-yard, par-70 layout. He helped Valpo shoot a season-best 298 as a team on Tuesday, finishing the tournament at 902. Valpo finished just 12 strokes behind 12th place Tennessee-Martin and 10 shots ahead of Alabama State.
Murray State won the team tournament, hosted by Tennessee State, at 856 while Southern Illinois Edwardsville’s Neal McCarty won the individual title shooting six-under par 204, including a final round 64.
Brad Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward H.S.) carded a final round 76 to finish second overall for the Brown and Gold at 225 while Andy Webb (Bedford, Ind./North Lawrence H.S.) shot 75 in round three to finish at 227. Josh Kalita (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) turned in an 80 in the final round to finish at 236 for Valpo while Adam Gray (Portland, Ind./Jay County H.S.) fired an 85 to conclude the tournament at 246.
“After playing for four straight days and six total rounds, we were able to come up with our best round of the year,” Higdon added. “That is quite an accomplishment for this team, and we could have even gone lower today.”
Valparaiso will play its final tournament of the spring before the Horizon League Championships on April 16-17 in Detroit, Mich. at the Detroit Titans Invitational.