The Valparaiso University men’s golf team defended its home course in a resounding manner at this week’s Valpo Fall Invitational, hosted at the par-72, 7082-yard Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton, Ind.
The Beacons finished 34 strokes ahead of the team runner-up in a 17-team field, capturing the team crown in dominant fashion while sophomore Anthony Delisanti (Sanborn, N.Y. / Niagara Wheatfield) and senior Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) swept the top two spots, finishing as the individual medalist and individual runner-up, respectively, in a 99-player field.
How It Happened
- The team boasted its best round of the event on Tuesday, finishing with a 278 over the final 18 holes to complete the 54-hole event at 848 (-16). The next closest team was Loyola, which edged DePaul by a single stroke for team runner-up honors at 882 (+18).
- Delisanti earned medalist honors on Tuesday by finishing with a 69 (-3) in Round 3. That came after he finished up the second round early Tuesday morning with a 69 (-3) as well, helping him finish with a 54-hole total of 208 (-8)
- Delisanti nipped his teammate VanArragon by a single stroke for medalist honors. VanArragon also enjoyed a 69 (-3) in Round 3 to cap the tournament at 209 (-7).
- Valpo boasted three players in the top five, four in the top 10 and the entire starting lineup in the top 13. Junior Mason Bonn (Sherwood, Ore. / Sherwood) joined his teammates in the top five after tying with Delisanti and VanArragon for the best Round-3 score in the entire field with a 69 (-3). That helped him finalize a 216 (E) over 54 holes.
- Fifth-year senior Yianni Kostouros (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point [Ball State]) carded a 71 (-1) on Tuesday as the team’s four counting scores were all under par in the final round. He finished the event at 218 (+2), earning a spot in the top-10 at t-10.
- Sophomore Sam Booth (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) rounded out the Valpo starting five with a 220 (+4) for the tournament, tied for 13th.
Inside the Round
- Delisanti earned medalist honors for the third time in his career after he previously won the Butler Spring Invitational and the MVC Championship last spring.
- VanArragon turned in his 11th career top-2 finish, his 18th top-5 finish and his 21st top-10 finish.
- The team score of 278 in Round 3 ranks tied for second in program history, joining last season’s Twin Oaks Intercollegiate and behind only the 2014 Golfweek Program Challenge. In relation to par, the team’s Round-3 score of -10 is all alone in second in program history. It marked the program’s best 18-hole score in relation to par since the record-setting 2014 Golfweek Program Challenge (-15).
- The team’s 54-hole tournament score of 848 ranks second in program history and is the team’s best mark since the 2014 Golfweek Program Challenge (842). In relation to par, the -16 in a 54-hole event also ranks second in the program record book behind that same 2014 Golfweek Program Challenge (-22).
- Delisanti’s 54-hole score of 208 tied for third in program history in 54-hole tournament low (overall score). He was two strokes away from tying the program record. In relation to par, his -8 tied for second in the modern program record book. He turned in the team’s best performance in terms of 54-hole tournament low in relation to par since 2015 (Peter Webb, Firestone Invitational, -8).
- VanArragon’s 54-hole score of 209 also cracked the program record book, ranking tied for sixth all-time. At -7, his outing ranks tied for fourth in the program record book for 54-hole score in relation to par.
- Valpo led the event in both par-4 scoring (4.05) and par-5 scoring (4.53). Delisanti led all competitors with a 3.83 on par-4 holes, followed by VanArragon at 3.90.
- VanArragon led the field with 15 birdies, while Delisanti had 13 and Bonn boasted 12. The Beacons led the tournament with 61 total birdies.
Inside the Round
“In my 12 years of coaching, I can't think of a better ‘team’ victory than this one. Every victory is sweet and unique and each one stands alone. This one was special since we had many people within the Valpo Athletic Department assisting us in hosting the home tournament, the Sand Creek Country Club staff was flawless in preparing the golf course and our team had an amazing week-plus of practice. Add to that the final round performance of all seven of our players, and it was truly a team victory. To win our tournament on our home course in front of family, friends and alumni was quite memorable for us.”
“I'm really proud of the entire team and the preparation that each of them made towards the tournament. I felt that they came into the event with a tremendous amount of confidence, and we had a good game plan in place to manage the course. The guys had a quiet confidence about them for all three rounds and their course management and execution was exemplary. I’m very pleased with our finish to the tournament and playing hard for the entire 54 holes. We finished the final round playing the last five holes 10 under.”
“We have a lot of positive takeaways from the event. While we still need to tighten up our Par-3 scoring, our Par-5 scoring was one of the best that we have had in a couple years. Nine of our 15 rounds were par or better, and both Caleb and Anthony played all three rounds under par. We led the field with 61 birdies in the three rounds and the team never wavered in maintaining the lead over those three rounds. Anthony and Caleb were in a dogfight for the medalist honors and that literally came down to the last hole for Anthony to take home the award. These guys love to push each other in practice and we saw that spill over into the three days of competition. We are going to really enjoy and savor the victory for a few days and get back to work for our next event this coming weekend.”
Valpo will return to the course on Monday, Sept. 26 to tee off the Zach Johnson Invitational at Glen Oaks CC in West Des Moines, Iowa.