A second-round surge helped the Valparaiso University men’s golf team finish the first day of competition at the Hoosier Collegiate Invitational in the top five in a 15-team field. Valpo improved its team score by 12 strokes in Round 2 to surge to fifth on a competitive team leaderboard after Sunday’s action at the par-71, 7265-yard Pfau Golf Course in Bloomington. Freshman Anthony Delisanti (Saborn, N.Y.) leads the team and ranks in the top 10 overall through 36 holes in his collegiate debut.
How It Happened
- Valpo was in ninth place in the team standings with a 298 through one round, but the team vaulted into the top five with a 286 (+2) in Round 2 to finish Day 1 at 578 (+10). Cincinnati (571, +3) is atop the team leaderboard with No. 10 Illinois (573, +5), host Indiana (574, +5) and Memphis (583, +10) accounting for the only other teams ahead of the Beacons entering the final round.
- Delisanti is tied for 10th in a quality field of 84 players. The rookie leads the squad with a 143 (+1) after posting a 72 in Round 1 and an even par of 71 in Round 2. Ty Gingerich of Cincinnati is the individual leader at 138 (-4).
- Transfer Yianni Kostouros (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point [Ball State]) holds a 146 and is tied for 23rd. His second-round score of 70 (-1) represented Valpo’s best round of the day and displayed a six-stroke improvement from Round 1 to Round 2.
- Valpo’s top three individuals through the first day of action are all newcomers with freshman Sam Booth (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) rounding out that group at 147 (76-71). His second-round score of even par was five strokes better than his Round-1 performance and helped him finish the day at t-26. Valpo’s top three performers all had scores of par or better in Round 2.
- Sophomore Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) posted a 74 in each round to finish the day at 148 (t-30).
Inside the Rounds
- The 286 in Round 2 was one stroke away from cracking the program’s all-time Top 10 for 18-hole team score.
- Valpo owns the top score in the field on Par-5 holes with a 4.67 average (-10).
- The Beacons are third in total birdies with 28, behind only Indiana (31) and Cincinnati (28).
- Kostouros was successful on Par-5 holes, averaging 4.22 (-4), the third best in the tournament.
- Valpo received balanced birdie production with VanArragon posting a team-high seven followed closely by Delisanti and Kostouros with six apiece.
- Valpo leads a group of five Missouri Valley Conference teams in the event, including a one-stroke edge on 2021 NCAA Regional qualifier Illinois State and an eight-stroke advantage on defending league champion Loyola, also an NCAA Regional team last season.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“Our team was excited to get the season started today. We talked about playing through the anticipation and nervousness of the season starting even though they are natural emotions. Our first nine holes were our worst of the day and it took us a while to get started and into our rhythm. Once the guys got into the flow of the round, we played solidly the rest of the day. We were +14 after that front nine and played the course +2 the last 27 holes.”
“We played the Par 5s well today and we need to attack the course on those holes. On the other hand, we played the Par 3s very poorly and shot execution was not good, especially in the first round. We have some areas that we need to clean up, especially off the tee and with our short game. I thought the guys really managed the course well and this course certainly tests your mental strength.”
“This was the first time our team has seen this course and it demands excellent shot-making and a solid short game. There’s no place on the course where you can ‘take a break’ and the guys stayed after it and kept playing hard all day. I was very pleased with our second-round scoring and picking up some valuable shots on the field. Sam, Anthony and Yianni played their first tournament for Valpo and they played with a lot of poise and confidence.”
The final 18 holes of the tournament will occur on Monday in Normal. A link to live scoring via GolfStat can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.