The Valparaiso men’s golf team will enter the final round of play at the Dayton Invitational just four shots out of first place, as the Crusaders closed play on Monday in fourth place out of 18 competing teams.
Valpo shot a round of 299 on Monday to open the 36-hole event, just four shots behind IPFW and Western Kentucky, which are tied atop the team leaderboard. Nick Cunningham of Oakland paces the individual standings through one round with an opening 67.
“NCR is one of our favorite courses that we play all year, as well as one of the toughest, and it was good to have six of our scores in the 70s today,” said Crusader head coach David Gring.
Junior Thomas Wettstein (Neenah, Wis./Xavier) paced the Crusader contingent on Monday with an opening-round 72, posting matching 36s on both sides to finish the day in sixth place. Sophomore Eric Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward) bounced back from a 40 on the front nine to come home in 35, finishing with a 75 to enter Tuesday in a tie for 20th place.
Junior Kyle Henning (Brookfield, Wis./East) and fifth-year senior Brad Winters (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward [Dayton]) each shot rounds of 76 on Monday to sit in a tie for 31st place. Senior Austin Gaugert (Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger) closed out the Crusader five-man team with a 78 and is currently tied for 51st place. Playing as an individual, freshman Matt Ward (Plainfield, Ill./South) matched the round of 76 by Henning and Brad Winters and joins them in a tie for 31st place after day one.
“We have had guys stepping up for us this entire fall season, and Thomas Wettstein played very solid and consistent for us today,” said Gring. “We are four shots out of the lead, and very excited for tomorrow's final round. We will play in the final foursome and the guys are looking forward to the opportunity.”
Valparaiso will conclude the Dayton Invitational on Tuesday, with play scheduled for an 8 a.m. CDT shotgun start.