Delisanti Repeats as MVC Individual Medalist
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Delisanti Repeats as MVC Individual Medalist

For the second consecutive season, Valparaiso University men’s golf sophomore Anthony Delisanti (Sanborn, N.Y. / Niagara Wheatfield) is the Missouri Valley Conference Championship medalist.

After making a miraculous comeback in the third and final round at last season’s championship, this year Delisanti was near the top of the leaderboard from the outset and led the tournament for much of the final two days. The route to get there was different, but the end result was identical, as Delisanti once again stands alone atop the conference and has earned an automatic NCAA Regional berth.

“This year, I did most of the hard work in Round 2,” Delisanti said. “I finished up yesterday pretty solid and built a lead for myself. Today, I was able to play freely and not worry about how anyone else was doing. I stuck to my game today and made a bunch of pars. The course was playing a little tougher today and was a little windier in a different direction. To win it back-to-back years, I’m really proud of myself for playing really well at this tournament two years in a row. I’m really appreciative of my teammates and coaches for helping get me ready to go.”  

Valpo finished as the team runner-up for the second consecutive season (849, -3), with Illinois State earning team championship hardware. Delisanti shattered the MVC Championship record and the modern program record with his 54-hole score of 200 (-13). Following the tournament, he was named MVC Golfer of the Year and earned All-MVC status for a second straight season.

Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) also achieved a top-10 finish (211, -2, t-8th), earning the MVC Elite 17 Award for his academic and athletic prowess for a third straight year while garnering All-MVC honors for the fourth consecutive season.

How It Happened

  • Delisanti carded a 70 (-1) in the final round of the tournament, finishing with a 54-hole total of 200 (-13). He achieved par or better on 53 of the 54 holes, with the lone bogey coming on Hole 17 in Round 3.
  • Delisanti finished four strokes ahead of Illinois State’s Felix van Dijk, who was the runner-up at 204 (-9).
  • VanArragon carded a 72 (+1) on Tuesday to finish the tournament at 211 (-2), earning a top-10 finish at t-8.
  • Illinois State ran away with the team title with an 836 (-16), while Valpo finished seven strokes ahead of UNI for team runner-up honors at 849 (-3). Valpo posted a 288 (+4) in Tuesday’s third and final round.
  • After entering the tournament as a substitute prior to Round 2, freshman Owen Sander Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) carded a 72 (+1) on Tuesday, tying for the team’s second-best Round-3 score.

Inside the Round

  • Delisanti shattered the Missouri Valley Conference Championship record for 54-hole tournament score with his 200, outdoing a mark that had stood for 73 years. Oklahoma State’s Bo Wininger carded a 201 in 1950, an MVC Championship record that stood the test of time until Delisanti’s dominance this week.
  • Delisanti won his second straight MVC individual crown, becoming the first medalist to go back-to-back since Trent Wallace of Illinois State in 2016 and 2017.
  • Delisanti’s 54-hole tournament score of 200 shattered his own program record of 202, which was established this past fall at the Zach Johnson Invitational, hosted by Drake on Sept. 26-27. The program record book began in 2009 when the program was relaunched after previously being discontinued. Delisanti’s score was six strokes better than the previous program record before this season, a 206 carded by Nick Seitz in 2014 and matched by Peter Webb in 2017.
  • In relation to par, Delisanti’s 54-hole tournament score of minus-13 also beat his own program record set at the Zach Johnson Invitational (-11). Before Delisanti, the only player to go 10 under or better in modern program history was Seitz in 2014 (-10 at the Golfweek Program Challenge).
  • The team’s 54-hole tournament output of 849 was the third best 54-hole score in modern program history. The record is 842 set at the 2014 Golfweek Program Challenge, followed by 848 at this year’s Valpo Fall Invitational.
  • In relation to par, the team score of three under ranks fifth in modern program history for a 54-hole tournament.
  • This marked Delisanti’s sixth top-10 finish this season and the 13th of his career as only a sophomore. Furthermore, it marked his fifth top-2 finish of the season and the seventh top-2 finish of his collegiate career. This represents his fifth career individual tournament title, two of which have come on the Missouri Valley Conference’s biggest stage.
  • VanArragon boasted his 10th top-10 finish in 11 tournaments this year and his 29th career top-10 finish. He has placed in the top 10 in 13 of his last 14 events dating back to last season.
  • Valpo ranked second in the tournament in par-4 scoring at 4.09 (+15) and third in par-3 scoring at 3.18 (+11).
  • Delisanti tied for the most birdies in the tournament field with 14. He led the tournament in par-4 scoring (3.73, -9) and ranked third in par-3 scoring (2.92, -1).
  • VanArragon was third in the tournament field in par-5 scoring at 4.44 (-5).
  • Valpo’s lone eagle of the tournament came courtesy of Yianni Kostouros, who needed just three strokes on the par-5 first hole in Tuesday’s Round 3.
  • VanArragon owns a season scoring average of 70.85, which ranks first in program history. Delisanti is at 71.03, second in the program record book, while Kostouros (73.73, ninth) has also cracked the top 10.
  • The team’s season scoring average of 289.48 shattered the modern program record, outdoing last year’s record of 292.8.
  • VanArragon (71.68, first), Delisanti (72.00, second), Kostouros (74.21, third) and Mason Bonn (75.91, 10th) all rank in the top 10 in program history in career scoring average.

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring

“This was a competitive conference championship for us, and I'm super proud of our guys, how well they played for the past three days and how they represented our team and Athletic Department. We are certainly disappointed that we came up short of our primary goal for the season and the opportunity to advance to the NCAA Tournament as a team. We had our second-best tournament score of the entire season and our fourth best single-round team score of the year in the first round and it took a record tournament score by Illinois State to beat us. Congrats to the Redbirds on a great tournament and they will represent our conference very well in the NCAA Regionals.”

“Sitting nine shots back going into the final round, we knew that we needed to play very well today and each player needed to beat the Illinois State player in their group by a couple shots. We’ve overcome that type of deficit before, so we had to start quickly and try to get out to an early lead. We played the Par 5 first hole at five under with three birdies and an eagle, so we had the start that we needed. The Redbirds matched that same result on the first hole, so we knew we had our work cut out for us. We weren’t able to narrow the gap after the front nine, playing it even par as a team, compared to five under for Illinois State. We played the back nine at four over and the Redbirds played it at five over, and we could never get any momentum going to challenge them on the day. We gave six shots back to par on the last two holes, which were two of the toughest for the round. The guys played with poise and passion all the way to the end, and I’m most grateful for that effort."

“Our birdie production was better in today’s round versus the second round. We had 15 birdies and an eagle on the day. I’m really proud of the fact that we had five guys play 54 holes each and we didn’t have a single double or triple bogey on the scorecards. Even though we played the Par 3s at seven over today, we were +11 for the tournament, and that was another solid effort. Our Par-5 scoring was the best of the three rounds today, but still not enough to catch Illinois State.”

“We really had some terrific efforts by our guys over these three rounds. Yianni didn’t have the tournament he was desiring, but he kept battling all the way down to the last hole and he demonstrated leadership. Owen played the second and third rounds for us very solidly, with scores of +3 and +1.  Sam was consistent for us all three rounds in the fifth spot, shooting 73, 74 and 74. Our Captain Caleb VanArragon added another Top-10 finish to his resume and returned to campus with a number of MVC awards and accolades from his record-breaking season.  Anthony had a masterful performance and the best individual tournament that I have ever seen for our team, with his record-breaking 13 under par finish. With only one bogey and 14 birdies on his scorecard over 54 holes, his overall play was transcendent. He played with such confidence and poise the entire tournament, and our team is thrilled that he will be representing us in the NCAA Regional next month.”

More Thoughts from MVC Medalist Anthony Delisanti

On the Differences Between Last Year’s Win and This Year’s Win: “I’ve never slept on a lead in college golf before, so this was a different feeling than I’ve been used to. Last year, I let everything go and tried to make as many birdies as I could in the final few holes. This tournament was much different; I was trying to make pars everywhere. I wasn’t playing overly aggressive; I was sticking to my game.”

On Playing His Best Golf at MVC Championships: “The work that you put in once the fall season ends in the weight room and in the golf room over the winter and getting outside when we can all go a long way toward finishing the season strong. Honestly, it goes back to my high school hockey days. We would always talk as a team about trying to play our best hockey at the end of each year. I learned a lot from playing hockey and just trying to get our team’s game to be the best it could be at the end of the season. I’ve taken that and put it toward the golf season. It’s a grind. Each semester is a grind, and you want to play your best at the very end.”  

On His Preparation for NCAA Regionals: “I’m just sticking to the plan that I’ve been executing the last few weeks, and trying to get outside as much as I can when it’s nice out. I’ll be sticking with the workouts from Coach (Bob) Brooks and staying with the routine I’ve been using.”

Up Next

The NCAA Men’s Golf Selection Show will air on the Golf Channel at noon Central Time on Wednesday, May 3. Delisanti will find out his NCAA Regional destination at that time. NCAA Regionals will be held from May 15-17.


Josh Kirkham, Bradley

Roy Radke, Bradley

Felix van Dijk, Illinois State

Valentin Peugnet, Illinois State

Max Kreikemeier, Missouri State

Lucas Sherf, Drake

Trey Lewis, Murray State

Braden Hoisington, Southern Illinois

Anthony Delisanti, Valparaiso

Caleb VanArragon, Valparaiso

Elite 17 Award: Caleb VanArragon, Valparaiso

Golfer of the Year: Anthony Delisanti, Valparaiso

Newcomer of the Year: Jack Schoenberger, Belmont

Coach of the Year: Ray Kralis, Illinois State