Kostouros Leads Way with Strong First Day at NGI
Friday, May 19, 2023
Kostouros Leads Way with Strong First Day at NGI
Yianni Kostouros posted the team's top score on Friday.

The Valparaiso University men’s golf team earned a place in postseason play by virtue of its performance over the course of the season as the team took part in the inaugural National Golf Invitational (NGI), which began on Friday at the par-72, 7360-yard Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz. Yianni Kostouros (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point [Ball State]) turned in a strong round to lead the way for the Beacons.  

How It Happened

  • Kostouros carded a 68 (-4) to pace the squad and finish the first day of action in a tie for third on the player leaderboard.
  • Two other Beacons recorded scores of par or better with Padraic Sim (Spanish, Fort, Ala. / Spanish Fort [Oregon]) notching a 71 (-1) to finish the day tied for 18th. In addition, Mason Bonn (Sherwood, Ore. / Sherwood) turned in a 72 (E) to complete Round 1 at t-27.
  • As a team, Valpo finished the day with an 18-hole score of 287 (-1), tied for eighth of 13 on the team leaderboard.
  • Wyoming holds the team spot in the team standings at 280 (-8), while Wyoming’s Tyler Severin is the individual leader with a 66 (-6).
  • Valpo’s top two individuals – Anthony Delisanti and Caleb VanArragon – are not eligible to compete in this tournament since they participated in the NCAA Regional.

Inside the Round

  • Valpo’s best scoring came on par-4 holes, where the team owned a 3.98 average.
  • The Beacons drained 19 birdies, the fourth most in the tournament field.
  • Kostouros performed well on par-3 holes at 2.75 and par-4 holes at 3.80. The team’s top showing on par 5s came from Sim at 4.00.
  • Kostouros drained a team-high six birdies.

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring

“I was very pleased with our decision making and shot execution during today’s round. I thought the guys did a tremendous job taking into account the distance for their shots into the green and really focusing in on a good number, and what club corresponded with that number. This golf course commands good shots on every hole, and we had to make good decisions with where to hit the ball and where to potentially miss the ball on each hole.”

“One of our strengths this year has been getting out to a quick start. We were leading the tournament after the first six holes, and that was a result of each of our players, making some quality putts and birdies. We had 10 birdies and only five bogeys in the first six holes, so the guys were relaxed and really executing well to start the round. We played even par for the middle six holes with six birdies during that stretch. The toughest stretch of the course was the last six holes and we only managed three birdies, but some quality pars.”

“Yianni played tremendously for us all day. He had five birdies in the first seven holes and a total of six birdies on the day. His decision making was phenomenal, and his shot execution was probably the best all year. He had a great rhythm all day and he played with great confidence. Both Mason and Padraic had five birdies on the day, so their shot execution was excellent. The team is excited to get back at it again tomorrow.”

Up Next

The tournament will continue on Saturday with a link to live scoring via GolfStat available on ValpoAthletics.com.