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Irish travel to Boilers tourney

Annie Brusky | Thursday, April 8, 2004

The Irish will be hard at work this Easter weekend, but at least they won’t be far from home.After a strong final round at last weekend’s tournament, Notre Dame hopes to carry that momentum into West Lafayette, Ind. for the Boilermaker Invitational this weekend. The tournament, hosted by Purdue, is being dubbed the Central Region Preview because it also will be the site of NCAA Regionals.If Notre Dame turns in a solid performance at the Preview this weekend, the Irish will be one step closer to returning to the venue come postseason play.”We just want to play up to our potential,” second-year coach John Jasinski said. “That’s all we try to do every week. We try to execute our shots to the best of our ability, and let the results take care of themselves.”The team is hoping for another solid performance by No. 4 golfer Mark Baldwin. Baldwin led the team in the last tournament after a putter change helped him improve on the green and shoot his best round of the season. “We’ve been really struggling in the four and five spots this season,” Jasinski said. “If Mark can keep that going and the rest of the guys come through, we’ll be very competitive.”Baldwin will be joined in the line-up by freshman Cole Isban and sophomores Scott Gustafson, Tommy Balderston and Eric Deutsch.They will face a talented field that includes No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 9 TCU, No. 18 Oklahoma and other golf powerhouses such as Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue.”Our ultimate goal is to be competitive at the very top,” Jasinski said. “The only way we can do that is to get constant exposure to a highly-ranked national schedule. It’s a learning experience, and when a team is as young as we are, that can take some time.”We’re moving in the right direction, though. Each tournament we advance little by little.”Although the tournament boasts several highly-ranked southern teams, the Midwestern climate and conditions may prove to be a bit of a challenge.This is a prime opportunity for the some of the northern teams to pick up big wins against talented southern schools.”We’re just hoping to be one of those teams,” Jasinski said.