The Valparaiso University men’s golf team reached the finish line on a successful season on Sunday by participating in the final round of the National Golf Invitational, an inaugural postseason event hosted by Golfweek at the par-72, 7360-yard Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz. The Beacons were led by Padraic Sim (Spanish Fort, Ala. / Spanish Fort [Oregon]) on the final day of the 2022-23 campaign.
How It Happened
- Sim posted a 74 (+2) to garner the team’s best round of the day. He finished the 54-hole tournament at 219 (+3), tied for 33rd in the 60-player field.
- Fifth-year senior Yianni Kostouros (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point [Ball State]) had the team’s best 54-hole score in the final tournament of his collegiate career. He stroked a 218 (+1) to tie for 21st.
- The second-best Round-3 score by a Beacon came from Owen Sander (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel), who turned in a 76 (+4) for the third consecutive day.
- As a team, Valpo posted a 307 over the final 18 holes. The team finished the event at 890, tying for 12th in the 13-team field.
- Texas State won the tournament with a team score of 857 (-7), while Ball State’s Kash Bellar grabbed medalist honors at 209 (-7).
Inside the Season
- The Beacons finished the season with a team scoring average of 290.1. This shattered the previous modern program record of 292.8 that was established last season. The modern program record book began when the program relaunched in 2009.
- Sophomore Anthony Delisanti (Sanborn, N.Y. / Niagara Wheatfield) and senior Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) – who were not eligible to participate in this tournament due to qualifying for NCAA Regionals – finished with the best two single-season scoring averages in modern program history. VanArragon shattered his own program record by finishing the season at 71.08, while Delisanti now ranks second in program history at 71.17.
- VanArragon and Delisanti now combine to own the top six single-season scoring averages in program history.
- Kostouros finished the year at 73.61, which ties with Peter Webb’s 2015-16 season for eighth in program lore.
- VanArragon finished the season with a 71.73 career scoring average that is currently the program record. He still has a fifth year of eligibility available due to COVID-19.
- Delisanti finished the season with a 72.03 career scoring average that ranks second in program history. Kostouros (74.12, third) and Mason Bonn (75.66, 10th) also finished the season in the top 10 in program history in career scoring average.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“It’s been an incredible year for our entire team. I could provide some assorted thoughts as to what worked and didn’t work with today’s round, but I feel it’s more appropriate to thank everyone that has made this entire season a success! I’m grateful for our players, my assistant coach, our strength coach, our sport administrator, our athletic director, our trainers and everyone in our athletic department. There are so many moving parts to travel to and compete in 14 tournaments in a season, and the support we receive is amazing.”
“I’m grateful for the parents that entrust their sons to our team. I’m thankful for the alumni and boosters and friends of our program that provide financial support and an incredible level of encouragement during the year. I’m grateful for our administration that allows our team to compete and promote the Valpo Athletics brand.”
“Our program has been blessed with incredibly talented student-athletes. They make my job an absolute joy to coach. We’re going to spend some time celebrating the tremendous achievements from this entire year and look forward to a very promising new season next year. Go Beacons!”