Freshman Drew Alexander (McCordsville, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) didn’t take long to etch his name among the elite players who have taken the course for the Valparaiso University men’s golf team over the years. Golfing in just his second career tournament, Alexander equaled the program record by carding a 65 over the first 18 holes of the SIUE Derek Dolenc Invitational on Monday, and finished the day in second place individually – just one stroke off the lead in the 96-player field.
How It Happened
- Alexander stroked a 72 in the second round, finishing the day at five under par with a 36-hole score of 137.
- Senior Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo. / Timberland), golfing as an individual, turned in the squad’s second-best score, posting a 151 to check in at T-41 overall.
- Sophomore Matthew McCarthy (O’Fallon, Ill. / Althoff Catholic) and freshman Brett Seward (Aurora, Ill. / Aurora Christian) each posted 152s. They sit in a tie for 51st overall.
- As a team, the Crusaders finished Day 1 in the top half of the field. They hold a team score of 596 (+28) after posting a 294 in Round 1 and a 302 in Round 2. The Crusaders are just three strokes behind Murray State for seventh and own a five-stroke lead over Missouri Valley Conference foe Drake for eighth.
Inside the Rounds
- The Crusaders are ahead of three total MVC teams in the field as Drake sits in eighth followed by 10th-place UNI and 13th-place Loyola.
- Alexander joins select company as one of four players in program history to card a 65. Jared Magoline and Nick Seitz both did so in 2014, then Peter Webb repeated that score in the Hoosier Invitational last spring.
- Alexander set the program record for 18-hole score by a freshman.
- The Valpo rookie also finished his first round one stroke away from matching the program record for 18-hole round low in relation to par. He went six strokes under in the first round, which is tied for third in program history with Webb, who turned in a pair of minus-6 scores in his illustrious Crusader career. Magoline and Seitz share the program record at minus-7.
- Cutler turned in a season-low 73 in the first round, while McCarthy’s 76 in both rounds was also a personal season watermark. Seward’s 74 in the second round was two strokes under the previous best of his young Valpo career.
- Valpo finished the day in fifth of 17 in total birdies, racking up 28 through two rounds. Alexander accounted for 10 of those birdies, tying with three others for the individual tournament lead.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
"Our birdie production was excellent during both of our rounds with the team making 16 birdies in the first round and 12 birdies in the second round. I was pleased with seeing some solid club choices into the greens to give us a good proximity to the hole. Our putting was also solid and the guys had good speeds with their putts. Drew led the way for us in the first round with seven birdies and that was a tremendous effort."
"This might have been the first time that we have ever played 36 holes in one day with temperatures in the low 90s. I thought the guys did very well in staying hydrated, along with focusing on all of the shots at hand. It's an endurance test to be on the golf course for over 10 hours with consecutive play and the team certainly put together a terrific effort in sticking with our game plan all day."
"Drew's ball-striking was consistent throughout the whole day, especially during the morning round. He hit some real good irons in close to the pins and his putting reads and speed were tremendous. Those type of results for a single round really helps our entire team and Drew played well at our No. 1 position all day. He has a terrific opportunity to finish well tomorrow and he's excited for the opportunity."
The Crusaders will round out the Derek Dolenc Invitational on Tuesday, as they partake in the third and final round. A link to live scoring is available on ValpoAthletics.com.