Men’s Golf Wins Butler Spring Invitational
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Men’s Golf Wins Butler Spring Invitational
Valpo won its first tournament title of the season at the Butler Spring Invitational.

The Valparaiso University men’s golf team returned from a trip to the southern portion of the state with hardware on Tuesday evening.

The Beacons closed out a team championship in Tuesday’s second and final round of the Butler Spring Invitational, which was shortened to 36 holes due to cold temperatures and played at the par-70, 6551-yard Highland Golf and Country Club in Indianapolis. The squad battled through frigid weather conditions en route to the triumph in a 12-team field.

How It Happened

  • Valpo turned in a team score of 290 (+10) in Tuesday’s second round to finish the event at 569 (+9) over 36 holes. The Beacons bested second-place Butler by six strokes with Morehead State in third, seven strokes behind the team champs. Two other Missouri Valley Conference programs participated as Evansville finished at t-8 and Bradley in 11th.
  • Freshman Anthony Delisanti (Sanborn, N.Y. / Niagara Wheatfield) followed his 68 in Round 1 by sharing the team lead with a 71 (+1) in Round 2 to finish tied for first in the 98-player event at 139 (-1). James Hill of Detroit Mercy and Luke Armbrust of Illinois also finished at 139 (-1), with Hill taking medalist honors based on a scorecard playoff.
  • Junior Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) was just one stroke in back of the top spot on the player leaderboard as he tied for fourth with a 140 (E) over the two rounds. VanArragon finished the event with a 71 (+1) on Tuesday, sharing the 18-hole team lead.
  • Valpo boasted three top-10 finishers as Garrett Willis (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead) carded a 72 (+2) on Tuesday to finish the two rounds at 141 (+1), tied for sixth.
  • The fourth-best score by a Beacon in Tuesday’s round came from Mason Bonn (Sherwood, Ore. / Sherwood), who stroked a 74 while golfing as an individual to finish the tournament at 151 (+11).

Inside the Round

  • Valpo had come close throughout the season, earning four runner-up finishes. But this marked the team’s first tournament championship of the year and fifth top-2 finish. Prior to this week, Valpo’s most recent tournament title came in Fall 2020 at the Flyer Intercollegiate. This marks the third consecutive season Valpo has captured at least one tournament crown.
  • The team score of 569 marked the second-best 36-hole tournament score in modern program history (since the program’s 2009 relaunch), behind only the program record of 560 set at last week’s Twin Oaks Intercollegiate.
  • In terms of 36-hole tournament score in relation to par, this week’s +9 ranked third in the program record book.
  • Delisanti finished atop the player leaderboard for the first time in his young collegiate career, earning his fifth top-10 finish of the season in the process. VanArragon achieved his eighth top-10 finish this season, seven of which have been top-5 results. Willis garnered his third top-10 finish of the year.
  • Delisanti’s 139 is third in program history in terms of 36-hole tournament overall score, behind the program record that is shared by Zach Cutler (137, 2016) and Yianni Kostouros (137, last week). VanArragon’s performance this week is tied for fourth in the program record book for a 36-hole event, while Willis’ is tied for sixth.
  • Valpo had 22 birdies in the tournament, led by Willis with eight.

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring

“This was an important victory for us today. It is not easy to win these 12-16 team invitationals, especially when you consider the talent on each team, the weather and course conditions of every round and just simply putting it all together in 36 or 54 holes. The common denominator of every team victory that we have celebrated over the years is the entire team participating and contributing to the victory. You really can’t win with just two or three of the guys playing well for the tournament. Every player has to contribute, and that was quite apparent with this win at Butler.”

“It has been over five years since we played in temperatures basically at freezing for our practice round and the 36-hole tournament. Going into the tournament, we knew that we would be dealing with chilly temps and winds that would make the conditions challenging. The guys were well prepared with the proper gear to keep warm and stay loose and flexible during the round, not letting their bodies tighten up. Each one of them really made good adjustments with their club distances and missing shots to the best side of the green. The greens still had some good speed and they were rolling well. I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of chipping and pitching and putting around the greens despite not practicing outside this spring. We didn’t make as many birdies today as yesterday, but the conditions were tougher, especially with approach shots to the greens. Also, for the scores that counted in both rounds, we only had to count three double bogeys. The guys managed the course well and played to their strengths.”

“Our team is thrilled to get the team victory and even more thrilled for Anthony to bring home his first medalist finish! His work ethic is exemplary and he has put a lot of time and energy into his practice and preparation this entire year. He said he felt even more comfortable and confident over the ball this weekend versus last weekend, and his ball-striking was outstanding. Twenty-six pars, five bogeys, four birdies and one eagle is a tremendous example of consistency and it’s even more commendable when you consider the conditions. Add to that a Top-10 finish for Garrett and another Top-10 finish for Caleb, and we really had everyone in the mix. We’re going to celebrate this victory and look forward to our next competition in a couple weeks." 

Up Next

The Beacons will take a few weeks away from competition before returning to the links on Sunday, April 17 to begin the Wright State Invitational in Springboro, Ohio. That will mark the final tournament prior to the MVC Championship.