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Green Bay men’s golf finishes fifth

Marques Eversoll, Assistant Sports Editor
May 8, 2013
Filed under Sports

The Green Bay men’s golf team wrapped up the season by finishing fifth at the 2013 Horizon League Championships at El Campeon Course at Mission Inn Resort Club and Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.

Valparaiso won the tournament with a score of 884, four strokes better than runner-up Cleveland State. Detroit rounded out the top three, followed by Loyola and Green Bay. Youngstown State and Wright State finished sixth and seventh, respectively, at the par-72, 6,670-yard course.

Green Bay senior Chad Ebert, the defending individual champion of the Horizon League Championship, once again posted the team’s top individual mark with a final-round score of three-over-par. Ebert had four birdies in the final round and finished in a tie for 12th place at ten-over-par.

Last year, Ebert played the final round at even-par 72 to take home the conference’s individual championship with a three-round score of six-over par.

Fellow senior Cam Fuller closed the book on his career with the Phoenix, finishing in a tie for 16th place with a three-round score of 229, 13 strokes over par. Fuller got out to a fast start in the first round, making par on 14 of the 18 holes.

Junior Dan Ozga ended up two shots back of Ebert’s team-best score of 226 for the weekend. Ozga finished in a tie for 14th place. In the second round, Ozga posted a team-best 74, racking up four birdies and playing the final six holes in two-under par.

Freshman Gene Kiela carded a score of 14-over-par for the weekend, which was good for fourth on the team. His final round of four-over 76 was tied with sophomore Tom Boockmeier for the second-best score on the squad.

After landing a team-best score of one-under-par at the Butler Spring Invitational April 18, Boockmeier had a rough first round of 81 at Mission Inn. But the sophomore bounced back from his first-round woes, knocking out a 78 in the second round and a 76 in the final round to finish in a tie for 27th place at 19-over-par.

Valparaiso and Cleveland State separated themselves from the rest of the seven-team field headed into the final day. The two teams exchanged the lead throughout the final day, but the Crusaders shot four strokes better than the Vikings to take home to conference championship.

Valparaiso junior Thomas Wettstein, of Neenah, Wis., posted a three-round score of two-under-par, 214 to take home this year’s individual championship. Wettstein played the first two rounds at even par before finishing with a round of two-under 70.

Wettstein’s teammate, Kyle Henning, of Brookfield, Wis., joined Wettstein in the individual top five, finishing in a tie for fifth.

Cleveland State concluded its season by falling four shots short of the conference title, despite having four players finish in the top ten individually.

Junior Andrew Bailey, a two-time Horizon League Player of the Year, led the field after two rounds, but a 76 in the final round dropped him to second place, allowing Wettstein to grab medalist honors.

Sophomore Michael Balcar finished tied for third place with a three-day score of 222, while senior Jon Riemer and junior Brendan Byrne tied for eighth place with a score of 224.

The men’s All-Tournament team featured two players from Valparaiso, Cleveland State and Detroit. Loyola sophomore Nick Dennis finished in a tie for third place and earned a spot on the conference’s seven-man All-Tournament team.

Headed into next season, Green Bay will have to replace its lone two seniors Ebert and Fuller. While Ebert took home last year’s individual championship in the conference tournament, Fuller was the runner-up.

Green Bay will hope Ozga, the team’s lone junior to participate in this year’s conference tournament, is ready to take over as a senior leader for the team next season.

Juniors Joe Collard and Sam Weber each appeared in four events this season, playing a total of nine rounds. Collard and Weber will join Ozga in next year’s senior class.

Sophomores Chad Bonis, Tyler Schmidt and Kyle Shafer each appeared in three events during the 2012 season. With Ebert and Fuller moving on, two spots will be up for grabs on next season’s tournament team.