On the brink of closing out what is thought to be the best single round in Minnesota boys’ high school golf history, Blaine sophomore Caleb VanArragon was surprisingly calm.
He stood over his putt on his 18th hole of the day — actually hole No. 5 at the TPC of Minnesota — and hit a downhill 15-footer. It rolled in for a birdie, completing a 9-under-par round of 63 to win the Blaine Invitational on Monday.
“I definitely knew what my score was but I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be,” VanArragon said. “I was surprised I was able to stay in the moment and keep making birdies.that was a pretty special feeling to see it go in.”
VanArragon’s 63 is believed to be a state boys’ high school record. Maggie Heggerston of Pequot Lakes shot a 62 in the first round of the Class 2A, Section 7 meet in 2014. According to the Minnesota Golf Association, the 62 was a record low score by a Minnesota high school girl on a par-72 course.
VanArragon did not make a bogey in his round, finishing with nine birdies and nine pars.
“What’s significant is how steady he was all day,” Blaine coach Kevin Overgaard said. “Anyone who’s watched him play can see how consistent he is. It was fairways and greens all day.”
Van Arragon said the conditions at the TPC course were conducive to scoring well.
“The course wasn’t playing too long, so I was able to drive pretty well and hit a lot of wedges,” he said. “And the greens were just perfect today. They were running pretty quick, but they were very true.”
With such a spectacular round behind him, VanArragon, who finished third in the Class 3A state meet as an 8th grader, acknowledged that with the feeling of achievement comes expectations.
“Well, I know I’m going to have trouble topping it next time,” he said with a laugh. “Today, I thought this might be my best chance to break the school record of 69. To do this feels amazing.”