With two weeks until the Horizon League Championship, the Butler men’s golf team is hitting its stride.
That became evident Thursday at the Big Four Classic at the Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.
The Bulldogs won the team title at the event by 25 strokes, finishing with a combined score of 303. Hanover finished second, followed by DePauw and Wabash.
Junior Alex Walker tied for the top individual spot in the tournament with DePauw senior Chase King. Both finished with a score of 74.
Butler sophomore Matt Vitale captured third place, finishing only one stroke behind Walker and King.
“It was a good event for us,” Vitale said. “I thought we really built some good momentum for conference in two weeks.”
Sophomore Andrew Wegeng took fourth place with a score of 76.
“I was happy with the way they played,” head coach Bill Mattingly said. “We’ve had a little bit of a slow start to the spring, so it was good to see us get back on track.”
The Butler women’s team experienced similar success at the Big Four Classic.
The Bulldogs also took home the team title, beating out second place DePauw by 14 strokes. Franklin edged out Hanover for third to round out the field.
Senior Molly Fields took home the individual title, winning by three strokes over junior teammate Michele Nash.
Nash shot a 78, while Fields finished with a 75.
Junior Clare Cornelius took fourth place with an 81.
“Our depth was really put on display at this event,” Mattingly said. “This was the girls’ last event before conference, so it was good to get a win.”
The men looked to carry momentum from the win into the Adidas Hoosier Invitational held at Bloomington, Ind., April 9 and 10.
Senior Ryan Wegeng was the highest finisher for Butler, shooting 213 over three rounds and tying for ninth.
Andrew Wegeng and Vitale finished in a tie for 37th place. Both shot a 10-over-par 223. Walker shot 225 and finished in a tie for 43rd.
“Alex has been very consistent for us this spring,” Mattingly said. “He’s a guy that can shoot a low score for us at conference.”
After the first round, the Bulldogs found themselves in a tie for third out of 15 teams competing.
After a tough second round, they started the third round strong. Ultimately, the Bulldogs finished in 10th place, one stroke behind ninth-place George Washington.
“We played great in the first round, so that’s promising,” Mattingly said. “We just needed to finish over the second and third rounds.”
The next competition for the men will be April 16 and 17 at the Yestingsmeier Invitational in Muncie, Ind.
Following the Big Four Classic, the women competed at the Brown Bear Invitational, hosted by Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, on April 10 and 11.
The Bulldogs took sixth place in the two-day tournament, shooting a combined score of 312. Princeton took home the team title.
Nash finished the first day tied for sixth place with a 74. She ended the tournament with a score of 75 and tied for 10th. Her two-day score was 149.
Cornelius and senior Marcella Moreman tied for 35th with a two day score of 159.
“Overall, it was a good tournament for us,” Mattingly said. “We don’t play again until conference. I thought we played well in preparation for it.”
The Horizon League Championship, held April 22 to 24, marks the end of the women’s golf season.
“Both the men and the women are playing well,” Mattingly said. “The men have one more competition before conference and the women are definitely moving in the right direction.”