The Valparaiso University men’s golf team closed out a strong fall season on Tuesday with a quality final day at the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate, hosted by Arkansas State at RidgePointe Country Club in Jonesboro. Valpo secured a Top 5 finish thanks to its best round of the event.
How It Happened
- Junior Jack Juskow (Greenville, S.C. / Hamilton Southeastern) was the team leader on Tuesday by carding a 69 (-3) to close out his fall in style. Juskow dropped 10 strokes from Round 2 to Round 3 and climbed into a tie for 18th in the 74-player field with a 54-hole score of 220.
- Freshman Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) was the team leader in the event, carding a 71 (-1) on Tuesday to post a 54-hole score of 217 that put him at t-12 on the individual leaderboard.
- Senior Matthew McCarthy (O’Fallon, Ill. / Althoff Catholic) had his best round of the event with a 74 (+2) on Tuesday.
- The team finished the three rounds at 885 (+21), jumping several squads in the standings after being tied for seventh through two rounds. Valpo edged Omaha and UNI by six strokes apiece while finishing five strokes in back of fourth-place South Dakota.
Inside the Round
- Valpo carded an even-par on 159 holes, the second-most of any team in the tournament. The squad produced 42 birdies over the three rounds.
- The 18-hole score of 69 outdid Juskow’s previous season-best by four strokes. It was two strokes away from his career-best, which was set in Round 2 of last year’s Wright State Invitational.
- Juskow became the fourth different Valpo player to post an 18-hole score of 69 or better this fall.
- Garrett Willis (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead) had 38 pars, the second-most of any player in the tournament. The team’s birdie leader was VanArragon with 10.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“We have finished almost every tournament this fall with our best team score in the final round. I feel it says a lot about the strong mental approach of our players. They play hard until each tournament is finished. We were able to leapfrog several teams today and close with one of our best rounds of the season.”
“I was especially impressed with how we played the back nine and finished the last four holes. These guys kept grinding and played better as the round went on. Statistically, there are more difficult holes on the back nine and we played that well after getting off to a slow start.”
“Our course management was much better today along with our chipping and putting. This is the first time we have played on Bermuda grass all season and it was definitely an adjustment for the team. The guys managed their shots on that turf very well today.”
“This was one of the most balanced team efforts since the start of the season and was a great way to end the fall portion of our season. Jack’s ball-striking was exceptional today. Garrett got off to a slow start, but played very steady the majority of the round. Matt finished the tournament with two steady rounds and Drew kept battling through his round. Caleb had another tremendous performance for us and an excellent finish to his fall season.
With a productive fall season in the books, Valpo will next compete on Saturday, Feb. 15 at The Invitational at Savannah Harbor in Savannah, Ga.