April 28, 2013
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - For the second day in a row, freshman PJ Riner (76-75-73) posted the top round of the day for the Loyola University Chicago men's golf team as they completed play at the 2013 Horizon League Championship at Mission Inn Resort.
Loyola finished in fourth-place in the team standings with a score of 906 (299-305-302), a three shot improvement from last year's league meet. Valparaiso captured the team title with a final score of 884 (301-289-294), which was highlighted by the Crusaders finishing seven-under-par as a team on their final six holes. Thomas Wettstein (72-72-70) of Valparaiso earned medalist honors.
"We wanted to come down here to defend our title and win the Horizon League for the final time but it just didn't work out," said Loyola head men's golf coach Adam Kwiatkoski. "I was very happy to see Nick (Dennis) finish in third and get recognized as part of the All-Tournament Team for the second consecutive year. PJ (Riner) also played really solid for us all weekend. Even though we went through some trying times this year, we came down here and battle but just couldn't pull it out in the end."
Riner put an exclamation mark on a fine freshman campaign by firing a one-over-par 73 today. The freshman out of Johns Creek, Ga. ended two-under-par on the back nine, draining back-to-back birdie putts on 13 and 14. He finished tied for eighth-place overall. This marks the first tournament that Riner has notched a top-ten finish in during his young collegiate career.
Sophomore Nick Dennis (72-76-74) rebounded from a tough second day by firing a two-over-par 74 in the final round. Dennis finished in third-place on the individual leaderboard and was named to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team for the second consecutive year. He improved his score by five strokes from the previous year and also made a three-spot jump on the individual leaderboard. Joining Dennis on the All-Tournament Team was Wettstein, Andrew Bailey (Cleveland State), Michael Balcar (Cleveland State), Simon Reyers (Detroit), Brendan Leonard (Detroit) and Kyle Henning (Valparaiso).
Junior Alex Cusumano (74-78-77) finished the tournament with a five-over-par 77, a one shot improvement from Saturday. Cusumano, out of St. Louis, Mo., got his day off to a great start by sinking a putt for birdie on his opening hole of the round. He finished tied for 16th-place. Junior Nick Willenborg (77-77-78) and senior Brian Van De Motter (81-77-81) rounded out the Loyola lineup for the tournament, finishing in 26th and 33rd, respectively.
The Loyola University Chicago men's golf team will return to action in the fall season.
Final Team Standings
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=910
6. Youngstown State - 312-309-290=911
7. Wright State - 317-310-309=936