VALPARAISO | Lake Central’s Rhett Barker played the role of spoiler for host Valparaiso at Saturday’s Aberdeen Classic.
Barker carded an even-par round of 72 over The Course at Aberdeen layout and then defeated Valparaiso’s Kyle Meihofer on the third playoff hole to claim medalist honors. Meihofer was gunning to become the first back-to-back medalist in the tournament’s history.
The Times No. 1 Vikings posted a team score of 311 to win the tournament for the fourth straight year. No. 7 Lake Central placed second with a total of 321, and No. 3 Michigan City was third with 325.
“This is the best weather we have had this year,” Valparaiso coach Wayne Lichtenberger said. “I have confidence in these guys that the scores will come down.”
After both Barker and Meihofer recorded pars on the 18th hole and had matching bogeys on the 15th, Barker won the playoff with a par on the 16th hole.
Barker played the front nine in 2-over, but he made three birdies on the back nine to get in even. He made a 30-foot putt for birdie on the 18th.
“I had some putts fall today,” Barker said. “I was just making putts. It was the best round of my life.”
Meihofer made three birdies on his opening nine to make the turn at 2-under. He made two more birdies on the back nine, but bogeyed three of his last four holes to finish at even.
“That’s how I have started out this whole year, a lot of birdies and a lot of bogeys,” Meihofer said. “I need to focus on keeping the mistakes to a minimum. And capitalizing after a birdie.”
Bobby Jacobs shot a round of 78 for the Vikings, and Alex Pancek added a round of 79.
“We showed progress, but there’s still a ways to go,” Lichtenberger said. “We’ve got to get (Nos.) 4 and 5 down. They are too high.”
Aaron Skibinski led Michigan City with a round of 78. Josh Palmer chipped in with an 80.
Matt Meneghetti fired a round of 79 for the Indians. Eight golfers in the field of 45 broke 80.