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Waldorf tops Iowa Wesleyan, retains Purple Cup

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy: Matt Oliver

FOREST CITY – The Waldorf University men’s golf team topped Iowa Wesleyan University in a match-play victory to retain the Purple Cup on Saturday.

It marked the fourth meeting between the two teams with the Warriors defeating NCAA Division III’s Tigers for the third time since the semi-annual rivalry’s inception in the spring of 2015.

Waldorf brought down Iowa Wesleyan, winning two of four matches and tying in another at Bear Creek Golf Course. The Warriors scored 45 points and the Tigers turned in 27 points.

“It was a pretty strong performance,” Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said. “Iowa Wesleyan has been playing very well. They shot a sub-300 round just recently, so this is good competition for us and a good confidence builder [for us] to play against a very competitive team.”

The match-play event utilized a Ryder Cup format. Each hole won by a group of two players was scored as one point and ties earned half a point. The 18-hole competition was divided into best ball, best shot and alternate shot competitions.

“We don’t get an opportunity to play Ryder Cup format very often,” Clouse said.

Heavy rainfall on Thursday forced the Warriors and Iowa Wesleyan to play two rounds on the course’s front nine holes. Golfing in pairs, teammates have learned to rely on one another in the friendly rivalry that both teams look forward to each fall and spring season.

“They take it seriously,” Clouse said. “It’s a fun day, but it’s a good competition for both teams.”

Waldorf senior Hugo Becerra and sophomore Zabdiel Flores notched 11.5 points to defeat Iowa Wesleyan’s Bo Vitale and Kiley Miller, who earned 6.5 points in the first match.

“This is the third time that they’ve played against the same pair,” Clouse said. “They’ve got a little rivalry going with that Iowa Wesleyan twosome, so it’s fun to see that.”

Mitchell Schneider and Blake Forsythe provided the only win for the Tigers, recording 9.5 points, while senior Thomas O’Rourke and freshman Justin Pierce finished with 8.5 points for the Warriors in a highly-competitive second match.

Waldorf seniors Chad Hein and Austin Sommer tied with Iowa Wesleyan’s Michael Neff and Connor McLean in the third match as the two duos scored nine points apiece.

Clouse and Waldorf assistant coach Cody Rozales cruised to victory with 16 points in the fourth match, while Iowa Wesleyan coach Kurt Moon and Austin Willis registered two points.

Securing bragging rights and holding onto the Purple Cup, the two teams will battle for the prize once again in the spring at Fort Madison’s Sheaffer Memorial Golf Course.

Coming off Saturday’s win, the match-play event serves as a tune-up for the Warriors as they prepare to host the Waldorf Invitational on Sunday at 11 a.m.

“The weather looks fantastic,” Clouse said. “It’s still a wet golf course from the rain we received on Thursday, but I think we’re confident going in, and I’m optimistic we’ll play well.”