The Valparaiso University men’s golf team closed out a stellar weekend on Sunday by playing the final round of the Rutherford Intercollegiate, hosted by Penn State on the par-71, 7171-yard Blue Course in State College, Pa. Valpo finished as the team runner-up in a 12-team field – just one stroke behind tournament champion Penn State – while Anthony Delisanti (Sanborn, N.Y. / Niagara Wheatfield) tied for first in a 75-player field before finishing as the runner-up based on a playoff.
How It Happened
- Delisanti stroked a 70 (-1) on Sunday, finishing the 54-hole event with a score of 207 (-6). He shared the top spot with Rhode Island’s Bryson Richards, who eventually took medalist honors after a playoff tiebreak.
- Valpo boasted two of the top three golfers in the event, as Caleb VanArragon (Blain, Minn. / Blaine) turned in a 72 (+1) on Sunday to finish at 208 (-5), one stroke behind the tie for the top spot.
- The best score by a Beacon in the Sunday round came from Owen Sander (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel), who turned in a 69 (-2) while golfing as an individual. He finished the event at 215, climbing 16 spots on the player leaderboard on Sunday to finish 14th.
- The fourth member of the program in the top 20 was Yianni Kostouros (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point [Ball State]), who posted a 73 (+2) on the final day of the event to finish at 217 (t-18).
- Valpo finished a single stroke behind host Penn State for the team title, earning the team runner-up distinction. The Beacons carded a Round-3 team score of 288 (+4) to finish the event at 850 (-2). They were three strokes ahead of third-place Georgetown.
Inside the Round
- Delisanti earned his fourth top-2 finish of the season and his first of the spring. This was the sixth top-2 finish in his collegiate career, four of which were individual titles.
- This was Delisanti’s fifth top-10 finish of the season and the 12th of his collegiate career as only a sophomore.
- VanArragon had his ninth top-10 finish of the season and the 28th of his career. He has placed in the top 10 in 12 of his last 13 events dating back to last season and nine of his 10 tournaments this season.
- The 69 by Sander represented the best score of the freshman’s young collegiate career.
- Delisanti’s 207 tied for the fourth-best 54-hole tournament score in program history. His own 202 from the Zach Johnson Invitational this past fall is the program record.
- VanArragon’s 208 is tied for sixth in program history.
- In relation to par, Delisanti’s 54-hole score of six under is tied for eighth, while VanArragon’s score of five under is tied for 10th.
- There have been 15 instances of a Valpo golfer finishing a tournament at five under or better in modern program history (since the program’s 2009 relaunch), and nine of those 15 are either Delisanti or VanArragon.
- The team’s 54-hole score of 850 ranks third in program history, behind only the 2014 Golfweek Program Challenge (842) and the 2022 Valpo Fall Invitational (848).
- In relation to par, the team’s 54-hole score of two under ranks fifth in program lore and second among tournaments that did not occur on Valpo’s home course.
- Valpo finished second in the field in par-4 scoring at 4.04.
- The team tied for the most pars in the tournament (172) and had the fourth most birdies (41).
- VanArragon led the tournament in par-4 scoring at 3.88
- Delisanti and Sander had 12 birdies apiece, tied for third in the tournament field.
- This was the 46th Rutherford Intercollegiate, one of the longest-running Division-I golf tournaments in the country.
- Valpo nearly snapped a long winning streak as this marked the eighth consecutive year that Penn State won its home tournament. The Nittany Lions have won 30 team titles in the 46-year history of the event.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“It was a tough loss for us today, but we picked up some valuable tournament experience. When you consider 15 rounds of golf over two days with five different players, a tournament loss by one shot is a tough one to take on the chin. The effort by the guys was tremendous, and they played hard all the way until the end. A loss like this makes us even tougher and hungrier for a victory.”
“The area that we played very poorly today and could have made up a lot of shots on the entire field was on the Par 3s. We played those at 13 over, which is not going to get it done in the final round of a tournament. Penn State played them 12 over, so we surprisingly didn’t lose much ground to them on those holes. The difference in the final round with Penn State was the last five holes. With the four scores that counted, they played those last five holes even par, and we played them at seven over. It wasn’t one player or one hole – just too many bogeys. We couldn’t get some nice birdie opportunities to fall, either.”
“I’m super proud of these guys for playing solid on a golf course that we had never seen before and playing very competitively with an excellent Big Ten program on their home course. There’s nothing easy about winning these tournaments. To be right in the mix until the very end and playing in pressure is something these guys desire and don’t shy away from. After two consecutive Big Ten tournaments, we know exactly what we need to work on this week as we prepare for the MVC Championship.”
Valpo will begin the MVC Championship on Sunday, April 23 at Oakwood CC in Coal Valley, Ill. A link to live scoring via GolfStat will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.