Valparaiso carded rounds of 302 and 299 on a crisp and breezy Monday to stand in eighth place following the first round of the John Piper Intercollegiate held at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The Crusaders 601 total puts the Brown and Gold within six strokes of third heading into Tuesday’s final round, as the leaderboard finished bunched together following 36 holes.
Brad Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward H.S.) got things rolling for Valpo in the opening round, starting with an eagle on his opening hole on his way to carding a one-under par 71 over the 7,064-yard par-72 layout. He was tied for second after round one. Winters shot 78 in the second round to finish tied for 17th overall, leading the way for the Crusaders.
“We definitely had some highlights today,” head coach Mike Higdon said. “Brad shooting 71 and turning in our first under par round of the year was definitely one of them. He was one of four under par in that first round.”
Josh Kalita (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) and Thomas Wettstein (Neenah, Wis./Xavier H.S.) carded rounds of 72 and 73 respectively over the second 18, battling back after scores of 79 and 84 in the opening round.
“Josh and Thomas turned it around from the two highest scores to the two lowest scores on the same day,” Higdon said. “This shows our capability where any one of our guys can shoot our team’s lowest round.”
Austin Gaugert (Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger H.S.) shot consistent rounds of 76 for Valpo while Kyle Henning (Brookfield, Wis./East H.S.) shot 76-79 on the afternoon.
Bowling Green, the tournament host, leads the way at four-over par 580 through 36 holes with the Falcons’ Drew Preston the overall leader at five-under par 139 (70-69).
“Overall we had a decent day,” Higdon said. “It always could be better, but it always could be worse too. Hopefully we can move up a few spots tomorrow.”
Valparaiso will wrap up tournament action on Tuesday morning with a shotgun start beginning at 7:30 a.m. CDT.