Freshman Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) followed his even-par opening round with an even better Round 2, going a stroke under to lead the Valparaiso University men’s golf team on Saturday at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invite hosted by Air Force at Eisenhower Golf Course in Colorado Springs, Colo.
How It Happened
- VanArragon improved his 72 on Friday by carding a 71 in the second round of the event on Saturday. His 36-hole score of 143 is a stroke under par, good enough to put him in a tie for 22nd in the 18-team, 103-player event.
- Valpo posted a 299 as a team in Round 2 to finish the day with an aggregate total of 595, tied for 14th with Missouri Valley Conference foe Drake. The squads are 12 strokes ahead of 16th-place SIU Edwardsville but just one stroke in back of 13th-place New Mexico State.
- Garrett Willis (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead) and Drew Alexander (McCordsville, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) each turned in 75s on Saturday. Willis is second on the team through two rounds at 149, checking in at t-56 overall.
Inside the Round
- Valpo has 109 pars through two rounds, led by Alexander, Willis and VanArragon with 24 apiece.
- The team’s birdie count sits at 24 with VanArragon’s seven representing the most among Valpo players.
- Valpo’s best showing has come on Par 4 holes with a 4.20 average that ranks ahead of five competing teams.
- Host Air Force enters the final day atop the team standings at 564 (-12), two strokes ahead of Colorado. The top individual is Jake Vincent of Southern Utah at 134 (-10).
- Joshua Wu of Air Force is tied for second among all individuals at seven strokes under par. Joshua is the twin brother of Valpo senior Jeremy Wu (Medford, Ore. / St. Mary’s), who is golfing as an individual in the event.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“The green complexes and design are excellent on this golf course. We had our challenges for the second consecutive day hitting to the best part of the green in our approaches, along with making putts. We had too many putts in both rounds and that continues to put pressure on the ball striking and chipping around the greens. We need to do a better job of managing our approach shots to the green to give us the highest percentage putts.”
“This course commands good shots from every facet of the game. While our birdie production was much better today, we had more doubles and triples that absolutely kills any rhythm and momentum. We bounced back on the back nine of our round today, and the guys kept playing hard despite a poor front nine.”
“Despite a double-bogey on the Par-4 15th hole, Caleb had four birdies and one bogey. He hit 86 percent of his fairways and 61 percent of his greens in regulation. Most importantly, Caleb had 27 putts for the second consecutive day, which is fabulous on these greens.”
The 18-team, 54-hole tournament will conclude on Sunday. A link to live scoring via GolfStat is available on ValpoAthletics.com.