A record-setting day on the links helped Valparaiso University men’s golf sophomore Anthony Delisanti (Sanborn, N.Y. / Niagara Wheatfield) take a four-stroke lead for medalist honors with 18 holes remaining in the 2023 Missouri Valley Conference Championship, which is being held at the par-71, 6760-yard Oakwood Country Club in Coal Valley, Ill. this week. He tied his own modern program record and shattered the Missouri Valley Conference Championship record for 18-hole score on Monday, which began with a one-hour delay due to frost.
How It Happened
- Delisanti needed only 64 strokes to finish his majestic second round at seven strokes under par on Monday. The stellar performance brought his two-day total to 130 (-12), giving him a four-stroke edge on Illinois State’s Felix van Dijk for medalist honors with 18 holes remaining. Delisanti is eight strokes ahead of Bradley’s Josh Kirkham, who sits in third.
- After posting five birdies and 13 pars in Round 1, Delisanti’s scorecard featured seven birdies and 11 pars in Monday’s round. He has achieved par or better on all 36 holes in the event.
- Senior Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) turned in a 70 (-1) on Monday, finishing the day with a 139 (-3) for the tournament, tied for fourth on the player leaderboard.
- Freshman Owen Sander (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) was subbed into the lineup for Monday’s round and put forth a counting score at 74. Sam Booth (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) also carded a 74 for the fourth and final output that counted toward the team’s Round-2 total.
- As a team, Valpo sits in second place in the 10-team field at 561 (-7), while Illinois State enters the final day with a nine-stroke lead for the top spot at 552 (-16). Valpo posted a 282 (-2) on Monday, while the Redbirds increased their lead by six strokes. UNI is third at 565 with 18 holes to go.
Inside the Round
- Delisanti shattered an MVC Championship record for 18-hole score with his 64 on Monday. Prior to this tournament, Gary Navarro of Wichita State had owned the conference championship record since 1972 with a 65. That score has been matched twice in this event – by van Dijk of Illinois State in Round 1 and Kirkham of Bradley in Round 2. Delisanti sits all alone atop the MVC Championship record book, which dates all the way back to 1956.
- Delisanti tied his own modern program record for 18-hole round score. The program’s modern record book began when the program relaunched in 2009. Delisanti previously carded a program-record 64 in the third round of the Zach Johnson Invitational this fall.
- Delisanti’s score in relation to par of seven under also tied a modern program record, joining his own aforementioned round and Nick Seitz and Jared Magoline at the 2014 Golfweek Program Challenge.
- Through two rounds, Valpo owns the tournament’s best par-3 scoring average at 3.10. The team’s par-4 scoring average of 4.07 is second in the field.
- Delisanti owns a par-3 scoring average of 2.75 (-2), best in the tournament. His par-4 scoring average of 3.68 (-7) also sits atop the 50-golfer field.
- Delisanti will try to close out the MVC crown during Tuesday’s final round. If he can do so, it would be his second straight MVC individual championship as he earned medalist honors at the event last season as a freshman. In addition, he would earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“We didn't have the balanced attack that we needed today from our lineup. There's no doubt about the effort and desires of all five of our guys to play hard and to play well. We were able to get 10 birdies out of Caleb and Anthony, with Anthony making seven of them himself. We were only able to get five birdies out of Yianni, Sam and Owen, and that simply wasn’t enough to keep pace with Illinois State.”
“We only played the Par 5s at three under, so we left a lot of scoring opportunities out there on the course in this round also. Our Par-3 scoring was good at four over, so we were pleased with that area of the game. We had more difficulties today keeping the ball in the fairway off the tee, so that led us to knocking it up around the green and trying to get up-and-down for pars, instead of looks at birdies. We are going to have to hit more fairways tomorrow so we can have more clean shots at the greens. We’re also going to need to simply hit the ball closer to the hole tomorrow so we can have more legitimate chances at birdie.”
“Anthony has been playing exceptional for us, leading the way with a clean scorecard full of birdies and pars. He continues to play with a lot of confidence and his shot execution has been just tremendous. He’s really making the game look simple, but when his ball-striking is as good as it is and he’s putting with such confidence, he’s going to make a lot of birdies. We have a good game plan in place for the final round. The guys are excited to compete and play well tomorrow.”
The final round of the 54-hole tournament will take place on Tuesday. A link to live scoring via GolfStat is available on ValpoAthletics.com.