The Valparaiso University men’s golf team returned to action on Monday as the Beacons golfed the first two rounds of the GCU Invitational, held at the par-71, 7124-yard GCU Golf Course in Phoenix. Valpo was led by Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) on the first day of action.
How It Happened
- VanArragon stroked a 142 over the 36 holes to finish the day in the top 20 at t-19. He carded a 69 (-2) in Round 1 before following with a 73 (+2) in Round 2 to go even for the day.
- Valpo’s next-best score came from Anthony Delisanti (Sanborn, N.Y. / Niagara Wheatfield) at 146 (71-75), tied for 45th.
- Yianni Kostouros (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point [Ball State]) shared the team lead with a 69 in Round 1, but saw his score tick up to 78 in Round 2 to finish the day at 147 (t-48th).
- A close pack of Beacons also featured Mason Bonn (Sherwood, Ore. / Sherwood) at 148 (71-77, t-53rd).
- As a team, Valpo finished the day at 583, dropping five places in Round 2 after a solid showing with a 280 in Round 1. The Beacons posted a team score of 303 over the final 18 holes of the day. Valpo is six strokes behind Missouri Valley Conference foe Drake for ninth.
- No. 29 TCU sits atop the team leaderboard at 550, while North Dakota State’s Nate Adams owns the individual lead at 132.
Inside the Round
- By carding a 69 in the opening round, Kostouros achieved a season best.
- The team’s Round-1 score of 280 was its second best of the season and cracked the program record book. That score tied for the fifth-best 18-hole round in program history. Five of the top six scores occurred either this season or last season.
- In relation to par, the opening-round team score of minus-four is tied for 10th in program lore.
- VanArragon achieved an eagle on the par-5 10th hole in Round 1.
- The Beacons had 25 birdies on the day, led by Kostouros with six.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
"The team had an excellent start to the day with 14 birdies and one eagle on our first nine. The guys settled in real well and put together one of our best nine holes of the season. We made the turn to the back nine of Round 1 and while we made a ton of pars, we simply couldn't get the putts to drop for birdies. We only had four birdies on our back nine, but we finished with a respectable four under for our team score."
"One of the areas of importance on this golf course is scoring well on the Par 3s. We had a good game plan in place, but our execution on the four Par 3 holes was not good, especially Holes 8 and 11. With the four scores we counted in Round 1, we played the Par 3s at six over, which really set us back in the scoring column. On the day, we were 19 over on the Par 3s, which landed us only two shots out of last place in the entire field. We will need to really improve in this area tomorrow."
"In the second round, our shot execution was really poor, we couldn't get the ball close enough to the pin from the fairway and we didn't make any putts. We had a lot of pars, but only seven birdies total for the entire team isn't going to get the job done. Our team is resilient and I'm confident that we can bounce back with a much better performance in Round 3. It's going to be a character test for us as we evaluate the first two rounds tonight and get back to it tomorrow."
The Grand Canyon University Invitational will conclude on Tuesday with the final 18 holes at GCU Golf Course. A link to live scoring via GolfStat is available on ValpoAthletics.com.