VanArragon Wins Gene Miranda Invitational in Playoff

September 12, 2023 | 4 min.
By Michael R Fermoyle

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Caleb VanArragon broke just about every scoring record there was to be broken this summer while sweeping the championships of the Minnesota State Open and State Amateur. On Wednesday, he tied the Valparaiso school record for lowest score in relation to par while winning the Gene Miranda Invite.

Having shot 67 in each of the first two rounds at the Eisenhower GC, the Valpo fifth-year senior closed with a 3-under-par 69, for a 54-hole total of 203 (minus 13). With that, he tied Colorado State junior Christoph Bleier, who closed with a 67, and VanArragon then won a playoff for the individual title with a birdie on the first extra hole. Jakob Hrinda of George Washington University was the only other player within seven strokes of VanArraton and Blieir. He shot 70 and finished third at 206. It was another four back to Northern Iowa's Griffin Parker, who was fourth at 210. He moved up three places with a valedictory 69.

VanArragon started slowly in the second round on Tuesday, with bogeys on each of the first two holes, and then played the last 16 holes in 7 under. He was 1 over after a bogey at the par-3 third hole on Wednesday, but birdied each of the front-nine par 5s, the 610-yard fifth and the 587-yard ninth. He ran off three consecutive birdies on the back nine, at the par-5 11th, the par-4 12th and the par-3 13th, before surrendering a shot to par with a bogey at the 505-yard, par-4 15th. Blieir racked up six birdies and made his only bogey of the tournament at the 13th hole (181 yards). 

Two of his teammates, Connor Jones and Jake Rodgers ended up in an eight-way tie for ninth place at 215, which helped Colorado State claim the team title at this tournament for the second year in a row -- and it wasn't close. The Rams put together a three-day total of 851, and Wyoming was 11 behind in second with an 862. Valparaiso tied UC Davis for third at 864.

There was one other Valpo player in the top 10 this week, and that was junior Anthony Delisantii, who tied for seventh at 213. It was Delisanti whose school record for most strokes under par in a tournament VanArragon tied. Delisanti set the record in the MVC (Missouri Valley Conference) Championships this spring at Oakwood CC in Coal Valley, Ill., (near Quad Cities), where he won the individual title for the second year in a row by shooting rounds of 66, 64 and 70, for a 54-hole aggregate of 200 (minus 13).

Gene Miranda Falcon Invite

At Eisenhower Golf Course

Par 72, 7,541 yards

Colorado Springs, Colo. 

Final results

1. Colorado State              292-279-280--851

2. Wyoming                       300-280-282--862

T3. Valparaiso                     285-289-290--864

T3. UC Davis                       293-279-292--864

T5. New Mexico State.        288-280-299--867

T5. SIU Edwardsville           295-289-283--867

7. Cal Poly                           290-285-293--868

T8. CSU-Northridge            297-286-291--874

T8. Weber State                  299-289-286--874

10. Utah State                     304-290-282--876

11. UC San Diego                302-287-289--878

12. Missouri State                306-291-284--884

T13. Idaho                            302-293-291--886

T13. South Dakota               297-295-294--886

15. Gonzaga                         292-295-300--887


1. Caleb VanArragon, Valparaiso        67-67-69--203 (won playoff with birdie on first extra hole)

2. Christoph Bleier, Colorado State        65-71-67--203 (-13)

3. Jacob Hrinda, Geo. Washington         70-66-70--206

4. Griffin Parker, Northern Iowa               70-71-69--210

5. Brendan Thomas, Weber State           69-70-72--211

6. Jackson Parrish, Cal Poly                   71-70-71--212

T7. T.J Baker, SIU Edwardsville              71-70-72--213

T7. Anthony Delisanti, Valparaiso            70-71-72--213

T40. Cole Witherow, South Dakota      73-74-73--220

T40. Logan Hamak, South Dakota        73-72-75--220

T98. Aaron Kuznik, Air Force               77-76-79--232

NE Joe Rohlwing, South Dakota        DNP-74-76--150


Michael R Fermoyle

Mike Fermoyle’s amateur golf career features state titles in five different decades, beginning with the State Public Links (1969), three State Amateurs (1970, 1973 and 1980), and four State Four-Ball championships (1972, 1985, 1993 and 2001). Fermoyle was medalist at the Pine to Palm in 1971, won the Resorters in 1972, made the cut at the State Amateur 18 consecutive years (1969 to 1986), the last being 2000, and amassed 13 top-ten finishes. Fermoyle also made it to the semi-final matches at the MGA’s annual match play championship, the Players’, in 1982 and 1987.

Fermoyle enjoyed a career as a sportswriter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch before retiring in 2006. Two years later he began a second career covering the golf beat exclusively for the MGA and its website,, where he ranks individual prep golfers and teams, provides coverage on local amateur and professional tournaments and keeps tabs on how Minnesotans are faring on the various professional tours.

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