VanArragon Wins Again, This Time by 16 in Valpo Fall Invitational

September 19, 2023 | 4 min.
By Michael R Fermoyle

CHESTERTON, Ind. -- On June 19th, Nate Stevens, the former two-time Minnesota state high school champion from Northfield who now plays for Notre Dame, defeated Caleb VanArragon in 19 holes at St. Cloud Country Club in the Round of 32 during the MGA Players Championship. (Stevens proceeded to play his way all the way to the final, but he lost there, 2&1 to Brock Winter, another former state high school champion.)

That was the last time anyone beat VanArragon in a major tournament in Minnesota. Actually, it might have been the last time any one in this state beat any VanArragon in any tournament. A week after the Players, Caleb and his sister Kathryn won the MGA Mixed Team Championship. Then during a two-week period in July, Caleb destroyed the fields, and par, in the Minnesota State Open and Minnesota State Amateur, setting scoring records in the process and winning by huge margins -- 9 in the State Open and 12 in the State Am.

Kathryn won the two corresponding championships that she played in -- the State Women's Open and the State Women's Am -- as the two remarkably talented siblings marched toward a sweep of the 2023 MGA Player of the Year awards.

No one outside of Minnesota has had much luck trying to beat Caleb VanArragon, either. Two guys did it in the Canadian Amateur, where he finished third, but that's been about it. He's back in school now, as a fifth-year senior at Valparaiso University, and so far, he's 2 for 2 in the 2023-24 college season. Last week, he won the Gene Miranda Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo., on the first hole of a playoff, and on Tuesday he won again -- by 16 shots in the Valpo Fall Invitational. 

VanArragon wasted no time in going to the top of the leaderboard. He opened with a 6-under-par 66 at Sand Creek Country Club, which was four better than the next-best score on a wet, rainy Monday morning. In the afternoon round, he shot 67, and the competition for the individual title was essentially over. At. that point, he led by 12. He capped off his victory with a 68 on Tuesday, for a 54-hole total of 201 (15 under). 

Artemiy Yalovlenko, a DePaul grad student, closed with a 72 and finished a distant second at 217.  There was a foursome tied for fourth at 219 -- Evansville teammates Nicholas Gushrowski, Arie Jackman of Central Michgan and Pablo Riveiro of Chicago State. Gushrowski was the only player in the tournament besides VanArragon to break 70. He did it in the second round with a 69. 

Led by VanArragon, host Valparaison took home the team championship, as well. The Beacons (formerly Crusaders, until 2021) posted the low team total in each of the first two rounds, and they ended up with an aggregate of 869 (5 over). Evansville finished second, 13 strokes behind at 882, and Bradely was 17 strokes further in arears, in third place at 899. 

Valpo Fall Invitational 

At Sand Creek Country Club

Par 72, 6,961 yards

Chesterton, Ind. 

Final results

1. Valparaiso                   290-287-292--869

2. Evansville                    299-294-289--882

3. Bradley                        302-302-295--899

4. DePaul                         301-295-305--901

5. Central Michigan          304-294-304--902

6. Detroit Mercy               305-299-301--905

7. Chicago State              315-304-299--918

8. Wstern Illinois              301-306-312--919

9. Wis.-Green Bay           301-308-312--921


1. Caleb VanArragon, Valpo                  66-67-68--201

2. Artemiy Yalovenko, DePaul                   70-75-72--217

T3. Nicholas Gushrowski, Evansville      78-69-72--219

T3. Danil Romashkin, Evansville            74-73-72--219

T3. Arie Jackman, Cent. Michigan         76-73-70--219

T3. Pablo Riveiro, Chicago State            74-74-71--219

7. Connor Hamm, Bradley                      72-77-71--220

8. Brody McCarthy, Bradley                     75-73-73--221


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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