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Irish disappointed with Invite finish

Annie Brusky | Thursday, April 15, 2004

In all honesty, the Irish had hoped to do better.After finishing the Boilermaker Invitational in 15th place, the Irish left the 18-team event disappointed with their performance.”We were hoping to finish a little better in the field even though there were some pretty good teams there,” sophomore Scott Gustafson said. “It’s kind of make-or-break time in these last few weeks. If we don’t show up for the next tournament, our season will be done.”The Irish compiled a final score of 44-over par 908 (303-302-303), 53 strokes behind tournament champion and host Purdue. The par-72 Kampen Course will host the NCAA Central Regional next month, should Notre Dame advance that far.”We’re definitely not playing near where we should be,” freshman Cole Isban said. “We’re a young team, but we’re really very talented. If we could just find that, we’d be very competitive. I mean, talent never really goes away, we’ve just lost it for right now.”Gustafson showed once again why he is the Irish leader, as he remained consistent throughout the weekend and turned in several solid rounds. He ended the tournament tied for 27th place at 5-over par 221 (73-76-72).Isban and sophomore Tommy Balderston both struggled to make putts as they finished 60th and 69th, respectively.Sophomore Eric Deutsch, in the No. 5 position, opened with rounds of 78 and 74 before struggling to finish with an 80 during his final round, leaving him tied with Balderston at 16-over 232.Fellow classmate Mark Baldwin struggled in the final round, as his 20-over 236 (78-76-82) landed him in 83rd place after shooting an 82 on the last day.Although Baldwin, Deutsch and the other players who rotate through the four and five spots have occasionally sparked some good rounds, the team is looking for more consistency in these positions.As they head into the Big East Championship, to be held on Notre Dame’s own Warren Golf Course in two weeks, the team is hoping to “bring everything together.””As bad as we’ve been playing, we can make up for it in the next tournament and get a ticket into the NCAAs,” Isban said.The Irish have already beaten defending champion Virginia Tech once this season, and the team believes the potential is there to improve on last year’s second-place finish.”We wish we would’ve had a little better momentum going into it, but we have a couple weeks to prepare,” Gustafson said. “Hopefully we’ll do better at this next one.”