Valparaiso returns three of its top five golfers from a squad that won its first Horizon League Golf Championship in school history.
Expected to lead the Crusaders is Kyle Henning (Sr., Brookfield, Wis.). Henning had a tremendous 2013 summer as he was one of two Horizon League golfers to qualify for the United States Public Links Championship at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Va. Henning also won the Wisconsin Public Links Golf Association Ray Fischer Championship shooting rounds of 69-74-64.
The Crusaders also return Thomas Wettstein (Sr., Neenah, Wis.), medalist at the 2012 Horizon League Golf Championships. Wettstein shot a three day total of 214 (72-72-70) to win the Championship by four shots.
Valparaiso has five freshman on the roster with Peter Webb (Fr., Madison, Wis.) already contributing. Webb became just the third golfer since the program was reestablished in the spring of 2010 to finish a 54-hole tournament under par at the Crusader’s first tournament of the season. Webb shot a three day total of 214 (72-71-71) to take third place overall at the Battle in the Tetons in Victor, Idaho.
Cleveland State took second place at the 2012 Horizon League Golf Championships and returns back-to-back Horizon League Golfer of the Year Andrew Bailey (Sr., Rocky River, Ohio). The Vikings last won the League in 2011 and is the only team to own a Horizon League crown more than once in the past seven years, winning the League on three separate occasions.
After a successful 2012 collegiate season that saw Bailey make the PING Midwest Regional Team, he continued his stellar play into the summer and was one of three Horizon League golfers to play in the prestigious 113th United States Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
The Vikings started their 2013 season in fine fashion, taking second place at the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate in Verona, NY. Bailey took medalist honors at the event, shooting 66-70-71 (207) to lead Cleveland State.
Besides Bailey, Brendan Byrne (Sr., Strongsville, Ohio ) is the only other senior on the roster and took second on the team at the season opener, shooting rounds of 74-74-71 (219). Others expected to contribute include Michael Balcar (Jr., Toldeo, Ohio) who took third place at the 2012 Horizon League Golf Championships, Mitchell Moore (Soph., Westerville, Ohio) and Patrick Luth (Fr., Medina, Ohio).
Detroit took third at the 2012 Horizon League Championships and returns a strong duo in Wil Wittmann (Soph., Combine Locks, Wis.) the 2012 Newcomer of the Year, and Brendan Leonard (Sr., Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) a member of the 2012 All-League team. Along with Bailey of Cleveland State, Leonard qualified for the 113th United States Amateur and narrowly missed the match-play portion of the Championship.
Detroit opened up their season at the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate and finished in seventh place. The Titans were led by Wittmann, who shot rounds of 74-69-68 (211) to tie for fifth place. Leonard opened up with back-to-back rounds of 73 and fired a final-round 68 to finish tied for ninth.
Another golfer expected to contribute is newcomer Kyle Gaines (Fr., Oxford, Mich), who bounced back with rounds of 70-73 after shooting an 84 in his collegiate debut at the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate.
After placing second at the 2012 Horizon League Golf Championships and fifth at the 2013 Horizon League Golf Championships, the Phoenix will look to return to form that saw them narrowly miss out on their first League Championship in 2012.
Green Bay will look to replace the 2012 Horizon League Golf Championship medalist Chad Ebert and 2011 championship runner-up Cam Fuller. The Phoenix return an experience laden group including four golfers who have seen an extensive amount of tournament action.
Dan Ozga (Sr., Edgerton, Wis.), Tom Boockmeier (Jr., Green Bay, Wis.) Gene Kiela (So., Plymouth, Wis.) and Sam Weber (Sr., Hartland, Wis.) are expected to lead the Phoenix. Ozga led the Phoenix in 2013 with a scoring average of 76.2; with Boockmeier and Kiela close behind at 76.7 and 76.7, respectively.
The Phoenix opened up their season at home for the Green Bay Invitational. Play began Monday with Boockmeier leading the Phoenix with a one under par-71. Play concludes today at Green Bay Country Club.
Youngstown State placed sixth at the 2012 Horizon League Golf Championships; however, the Penguins return all five golfers from last year’s squad.
Expected to lead the Penguins are D.J. Holub (So., Reminderville, Ohio), Bill Gaffney (So., Buffalo, Ny.), Bryan Yeo (Jr., LaGrange, Ohio), and Brandon Pluchinsky (So., North Lima, Ohio.).
Pluchinsky opened up the 2012 Horizon League Golf Championships with rounds of 81-78, but fired a tournament best 66 in the final round to lead frog to 11th place. Holub joined Henning at the United States Public Links Championship and shot rounds of 79-72 at the Public Links.
The Penguins took second place at the season-opening Colgate Invitational and were led by Yeo who shot rounds of 72-73-74.
Wright State will look to improve upon their 2012 season, one that saw them place seventh at the 2012 Horizon League Golf Championships. The Raiders will have to do so without three-time All-League golfer Cody Fixari, who graduated in May. However, they will return the other four golfers who competed at the 2012 Horizon League Championships.
Expected to lead the Raiders is Connor Lash (So., Centerville, Ohio). Lash led the Raiders at the 2012 Horizon Golf Championships tying for 20th place after shooting rounds of 75-79-76.
Wright State opens up it season on Monday at the Marshall Invitational. Lash and Ryan Wenzler (Fr., Centerville, Ohio) led the Raiders with rounds of 74-74 (148). Play concludes today with an 18-hole final round.
Oakland took sixth place in the nine team Summit League in 2012; but return four of their five starters including Evan Browser (Soph., Dearborn, Mich.) who was the third Horizon League Golfer to compete in the 113th United States Amateur. Last season, Bowser finished in a tie for sixth place at The Summit League Championship shooting rounds of 75-73-76=224.
For the season, the freshman Browser posted the seventh best scoring average in Golden Grizzly history and had two individual victories.
As a team, Oakland tallied two tournament wins; the Cleveland State Invitational and the University of Dayton Fall Invitational.
Besides Browser, other Golden Grizzlies expected to contribute include Cameron Nelson (Jr., Inverness, Scotland), Mark Foster (Sr., Davision, Mich.) and Alex Turner (Jr., Toronto, Ontario, Canada).
Oakland opens up its 2013-2014 campaign next Monday and Tuesday at the Wolverine Intercollegiate.
2013 Horizon League Golf Championships Results
1. Valparaiso 301-289-294 884
2. Cleveland State 300-292-296 888
3. Detroit 311-299-291 901
4. Loyola 299-305-302 906
5. Green Bay 304-302-304 920
6. Youngstown State 312-309-290 911
7. Wright State 317-310-309 936
Top Returners-2013 Horizon League Golf Championships Results
1. Thomas Wettstein Valparaiso 72-70-70 -2
2. Andrew Bailey Cleveland State 70-72-76 +2
T3. Michael Balcar Cleveland State 75-71-76 +6
T5. Kyle Henning Valparaiso 77-71-75 +7
T5. Brandon Leonard Detroit 76-71-76 +7
T8. Brendan Byrne Detroit 78-74-72 +8
11. Brandon Pluchinsky Youngstown State 81-77-66 +9
T14. Dan Ozga Green Bay 77-74-77 +12
T16. D.J. Holub Youngstown State 80-76-73 +13
T16. Bryan Yeo Youngstown State 76-80-73 +13