Men’s Golf Opens Spring Slate with Solid Sunday Round
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Men’s Golf Opens Spring Slate with Solid Sunday Round

The spring season is underway for the Valparaiso University men’s golf team, which hopes to build on a successful fall in the coming months leading into the annual conference championship. That quest is off to a solid start as Valpo is just three strokes out of the top spot in a tightly-packed field through one round at the season-opening Advance Golf Partners Collegiate, hosted by UNCG at the par-72, 7169-yard Hammock Green Golf Club in Palm City, Fla.

How It Happened

  • On the first day of spring competition, Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) led the Beacons by posting an 18-hole score of 68 (-4). He is involved in a tie for third on the player leaderboard, just two strokes behind individual leader Kamaren Cunningham of Murray State and one behind Iona’s Garrett Giles, who sits in second.
  • The next Beacon on the player leaderboard is Yianni Kostouros (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point), who turned in a 70 (-1) to finish under par in his first spring round with the Beacons. He is tied for 12th in the 121-player field.
  • Anthony Delisanti (Sanborn, N.Y. / Niagara Wheatfield) stroked a 73 (+1), while Garrett Willis (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead) rounded out the team’s counting scores with a 76 (+4).
  • Golfing as an individual, Sam Booth (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) carded a 73 (+2) to finish the day in the top 50 overall and third among those golfing as individuals.
  • As a team, the Beacons finished the day fifth in a competitive, 21-team field with a 287 (-1). Creighton, Western Carolina and Mercer are tied atop the team leaderboard at 284, while Wofford (285) is the only other squad ahead of Valpo.

Inside the Round

  • VanArragon tied his season best for 54-hole score in relation to par at four strokes under.
  • By virtue of his 70, Kostouros equaled his season best from the fall slate.
  • This marks the third time this season and the first time away from the team’s home course that the Beacons have finished a round with a team score under par.
  • Valpo ranks second in the event in par-3 scoring average at 3.00.
  • The Beacons boasted 19 birdies in Sunday’s round, the third-most in the tournament.
  • VanArragon and Kostouros are tied for the team lead with five birdies apiece. VanArragon is tied for third in the event in par-3 scoring at 2.50.

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring

“I was pleased with the performance of the entire team for today’s first round, especially with us not competing or playing on grass for the past four months. We still had some rust that we needed to kick off today, and I am confident that club selection and shot execution will be a little sharper tomorrow and Tuesday.”

“We were a little anxious to get the spring season rolling, so we had a slow start. By the end of the front nine, the guys had settled in well and made 11 birdies. Our birdie production wasn’t as good on the back nine, but we still managed eight more birdies. We really struggled with our par-5 scoring throughout the day with some poor club choices and shot execution. That’s really the difference of where we stand as a team after the first round and we will make some better decisions tomorrow.”

“Caleb and Yianni had five birdies each, while Garrett made four birdies on the front nine alone. We really had a lot of good opportunities for birdies and the guys putted well overall. We basically played the entire front nine in the rain and the guys managed that really well. We are looking forward to the next two rounds and enjoying this Florida weather.”

Up Next

The opening tournament of the spring season will continue on Monday, Feb. 14 as the Advance Golf Partners Collegiate continues with Round 2 at Hammock Creek GC in Palm City, Fla. Live scoring is available via GolfStat.