The Valparaiso University men’s golf team sits in the middle of the pack in a competitive field through two rounds of the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate, hosted by Arkansas State. The team was led by freshman Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) on the first day of competition at Ridgepointe Country Club in Jonesboro, Ark. on Monday.
How It Happened
- VanArragon started his tournament with a 76 in Round 1, but followed by making a six-stroke improvement in the afternoon with a 70 (-2). His 36-hole score of 146 (+2) puts him at t-16 in a 74-player field.
- After taking medalist honors in the team’s most recent tournament, Garrett Willis (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead) was a stroke behind VanArragon at 147 (+3) on Monday. The Valpo sophomore led the team in the first round with a 71 (-1) and for the day is tied for 22nd overall.
- Junior Jack Juskow (Greenville, S.C. / Hamilton Southeastern) was the third Valpo player to enjoy a round of par or better on Monday. He opened with a 72 (E) and finished the day at 151 (t-39).
- Valpo is tied for seventh as a team at 596 (+20). The Brown & Gold carded a 297 in the morning round and followed with a 299. The squad is tied with Missouri Valley Conference competitor UNI in the standings. Just four strokes separate five teams from fourth to seventh.
Inside the Rounds
- Valpo is third in total team pars through two rounds at 104 while owning 26 birdies.
- The team’s best showing has been on Par 4 holes (4.29, sixth-best in the field).
- Willis has hit even par on 25 occasions over the 36 holes while also producing five birdies.
- The team’s top birdie production has come from junior Drew Alexander (McCordsville, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) and VanArragon, who turned in six apiece.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“We did not play well today and there were times that our course management and shot execution was pretty sloppy. We really struggled on the Par 3s, with only two birdies and three double bogeys on the day. We were 10 over in the second round for all five players on the Par 3s and the holes weren’t even playing that challenging. Our Par 5 scoring continues to be a sore spot for us, with three double bogeys and a triple bogey just in the first round.”
“Over our last few tournaments, we have avoided most of the double and triple bogeys, but that wasn't the case for us today. We had six doubles and two triples in the first round and six double bogeys in the second round. That represents how many over par that we are for the entire tournament. We're playing too many good holes for us to give away shots on a couple handfuls of holes during a given round.”
“We gave back eight shots to par over the last four holes of the day and that was another difference in us finishing in a better position going into tomorrow's final round. We know that we have the talent and opportunity to play better tomorrow, so we're looking forward to finishing with a good final round.”
“Drew paced us well with five birdies in the first round. Caleb followed that performance with six birdies in the second round. Both of the guys really had a good handle on the speed of the greens for each of those rounds and their proximity to the hole was terrific.”
A productive fall season for Valpo men’s golf will come to an end on Tuesday at Ridepointe Country Club. The team will look to round out the fall slate on a high note. Tee times begin at 8 a.m. and live scoring will be available on ValpoAthletics.com via GolfStat.