RENSSELAER | During the trophy presentation at Saturday’s Rensselaer Invitational, Bombers coach Jeff Phillips asked victorious Valparaiso how many were seniors -- already knowing the answer.
“We all are,” they said in unison.
It’s been a tremendous run for the Times No. 1 Vikings, who won the title for the fourth consecutive year with a 292, outdistancing runner-up and No. 5 Boone Grove’s 323. Kyle Meihofer was brilliant with a 5-under 67 on warm but windy day.
“When they get on the green, they make the putts,” said Phillips, whose Bombers placed sixth with a 340. “That’s the difference from them and every other team.
“They’re all great kids, and their coach runs a great program.”
Meihofer, a four-year varsity player, said there’s great camaraderie.
“We’re a very tight-knit group, and we’re all pushing each other to do better,” he said. “So to come out here as a team to shoot what we did, was really good.”
Meihofer, a Southern Illinois recruit, shot a 67 for the third time this season and recorded six birdies to offset one bogey.
“This is good for us,” Valpo coach Wayne Lichtenberger said. “We’ve been wanting to break that 300 mark, so it was good to get out and do that today.”
Patrick Andrie shot a 73 for the Vikes, and Bobby Jacobs, his third year playing in the invite, fired a 74. Tyler Doane carded a 78 and Alex Pancek a 79.
“Everyone shot in the 70s. Anytime you can do that, it’s a great day,” Andrie said.
Lichtenberger said he has six golfers vying for the five varsity spots.
“It’s competitive,” Andrie said. “I had a playoff this week just to get in. I’ve been struggling this year, finally turned it around. It’s all mental for me.”
Times No. 2 Munster was third with a 328, followed by No. 9 Marquette Catholic with a 338 and Wheeler at 339.
Boone’s Brad Bobrowski had the second best score with a par 72. He recorded six birdies to make up for four bogeys and a double.
“I was just making putts and staying in the fairways,” he said.
Lichtenberger said he enjoys making the trip down, not just because they’ve won four straight titles.
“I love coming here,” he said. “The par fives and par threes really make you work and manage the course.”