Postseason Preview: VanArragon Set for NCAA Regional, Remainder of Team Ready for NGI
Friday, May 10, 2024
Postseason Preview: VanArragon Set for NCAA Regional, Remainder of Team Ready for NGI
Senior Mason Bonn and the Beacons have qualified for the NGI again this season.

A special season continues for the Valparaiso University men’s golf team with a week packed with postseason competition.

Fifth-year senior Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) earned an at-large NCAA Regional selection for the second straight season. The Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year – who owns a program-record season scoring average of 69.35 and a program-record career scoring average of 71.22 – is the top seeded individual among those not part of competing teams for the West Lafayette Regional.

The Purdue-hosted Regional tees off on Monday, May 13 for the first of three 18-hole days at the par-72, 7465-yard Kampen-Cosler Course. Play will begin at 7 a.m. CT each day off holes 1 and 10. The top five teams plus the top individual from non-qualifying teams will advance to the NCAA National Championships, which will take place May 24-29 in Carlsbad, Calif.

Participating teams include Vanderbilt, Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Purdue, San Diego State, Mississippi State, Indiana, College of Charleston, Stetson, Colorado State, Missouri Valley Conference champion Southern Illinois and Tennessee Tech. VanArragon leads a group of individuals that also includes Hunter Thomson (Michigan), Cameron Huss (Wisconsin), Barend Botha (Toledo), Valentin Peugnet (Illinois State), Alex McCulla (Illinois State), Owen Stamper (Middle Tennessee), Ty Gingerich (Cincinnati), Luke Fuller (Western Kentucky) and Ben Ortwein (Rider).

“We are excited and blessed to have the opportunity to participate in two postseason tournaments for the second consecutive year,” head coach Dave Gring said. “Our team is thrilled that Caleb received an at-large bid to compete at the NCAA West Lafayette Regional and represent our team. Both Caleb and I have played the Kampen-Cosler Course in years past, so there’s a good level of familiarity with the layout and it’s just over one hour from our campus. Caleb will be playing on the same type of grass that we are used to here in the Midwest, and the weather conditions are going to be dry for the most part, with winds at a moderate level. Since this is the third consecutive year that we have had an individual playing in the Regional, we have a good feel for the rhythm/flow of the tournament and what to expect from a competitive level. Caleb has played at an exceptional level for us all year, so he’s coming into the tournament with a lot of confidence.”

Valpo will participate in the National Golf Invitational, the NIT of golf, for the second straight season. The team earned a postseason opportunity thanks in part to a 289.13 scoring average and a third-place finish at the MVC Championship including three of the top five players. After the practice round on Thursday, May 16, the NGI begins with the first of three days of competition on Friday, May 17.

The NGI will be hosted at the par-72, 7360-yard Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz. Presented in partnership with Golfweek, the event welcomes three returning teams from last season – Valpo, Washington State and Wyoming. Those three squads will be joined by Belmont, Butler, Cal State Northridge, Long Island, Richmond, SIUE and TCU to form a 10-team field.

“We were fortunate to be invited to the inaugural National Golf Invitational last year and we’re excited the committee invited us back again this year,” Gring said. “The tournament committee was pleased with our winning percentage and our head-to-head records. Our guys simply love to compete, so the fact that we have another opportunity to play in a tournament before the start of summer is thrilling. Add to that, the event is a national championship, so the guys are going to prepare well and have a lot of fun in the process. Half of our team played in the championship last year, so there is a good level of familiarity with the golf course and they will really be able to help the other guys. The weather is going to be sunny and in the upper 90s, so the conditions are going to be fantastic. We’re excited to compete in both events!”

Links to live scoring via GolfStat for both the NCAA Regional and the NGI will be available on