The Valparaiso University men’s golf team climbed nine spots on the team leaderboard with a much-improved performance from a day prior during Monday’s second round of the Advance Golf Partners Collegiate, held at the par-72, 7169-yard Hammock Creek Golf Club in Palm City, Fla. All five players in the lineup boasted better scores than Sunday, with No. 1 golfer Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) enjoying the most staggering turnaround.
How It Happened
- VanArragon trimmed 11 strokes off his opening-round score by carding a 67 (-5) on Monday. He turned the page from a wobbly opening round to vault into a tie for 10th in a 119-player field. He moved up 56 spots with Monday’s performance. He owns a 36-hole score of 145 entering Tuesday’s final round.
- Also achieving a massive jump was Sam Booth (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel), who cut nine strokes off his Round-1 score with a 70 (-2) on Monday, joining VanArragon as the two Beacons to go under par. Booth’s 36-hole score of 149 puts him at t-32, 50 spots better than he was following the first round.
- Valpo also got big improvement from Yianni Kostouros (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point [Ball State]) and Mason Bonn (Sherwood, Ore. / Sherwood), who both bettered their Round-1 showing by five strokes with a 73 on Monday. They sit at t-46 with 18 holes to play.
- Valpo made a steep ascension on the team leaderboard, starting the day tied for 17th of 19 before finishing the second round at t-8. The Beacons cut 28 strokes off their Round-1 team score with a 283 for a two-day total of 594.
- Valpo could make another big climb on Tuesday as the Beacons are just four shots out of fourth in a tightly-packed cluster. UNCG leads the tournament at 577, while Drexel’s Drue Nicholas is at 134 and has a one-stroke lead in the medalist race.
Inside the Round
- VanArragon’s 67 was the second-best score by any golfer in the 119-player field on Monday.
- Valpo’s team score of 283 was the second best in the 19-team field in Monday’s round. UNCG, the No. 50 team in the country, was a single stroke better at 282.
- This marked the third time in his esteemed career that VanArragon has shot 67 or better in a round. His score on Monday tied for eighth in program history in 18-hole low in terms of overall score.
- In relation to par, VanArragon’s minus five also cracked the program record book, tying for eighth. This was his second-best single-round score in relation to par in his career behind only his second round at the Island Resort Intercollegiate on Sept. 4 of this season (-6).
- The 18-hole team score of 283 on Monday tied for the 10th best in program history in terms of overall score. In relation to par, the team round of five strokes under is tied for the seventh best in program history.
- Valpo leads the tournament field in par-5 scoring at 4.73 and ranks second in par-4 average at 4.15. Par 3s have been a different story, with Valpo second from the bottom at 3.60.
- The Beacons have produced 28 birdies, led by VanArragon and Booth with eight apiece.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“The team showed a lot of resolve and determination in today’s second round and I was impressed with the guys quickly turning around a very poor first-round performance into an excellent second-round performance. This was one of the best bounce-back rounds that we have had in a long time and it was important for this to take place this early in our spring season. We still have a lot of rust to kick off and work to be done to get our games to a better point, but today was a great start.”
“The team responded to yesterday’s rounds with better putting, making a total of 24 birdies versus only 11 yesterday. We still had some big scores on particular holes, but it was better than yesterday. Lastly, we improved our Par-3 scoring from a horrible +16 yesterday to a much more tolerable +3 today. The guys were focused on what they needed to improve from yesterday and our shot execution was so much better today.”
“Caleb and Sam led our team with six and five birdies, respectively. Their putting was exemplary, reading the greens well and they both had good speed with their putts. Our Par-5 scoring really improved today and we need to do the same tomorrow to pick up more shots on the field. We still have our work cut out for us tomorrow, but our players are heading into the final round with a lot more confidence in their games.”
The tournament will continue on Tuesday with the third and final round of the event. A link to live scoring via GolfStat is available on ValpoAthletics.com.