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Irish notch record-low team score

Eric Retter | Tuesday, October 26, 2004

There is still wet ink in the record books after the Irish performance this weekend.The team shot a combined score of 854 at the Nelson Invitational to break the Notre Dame record for lowest overall team score. Notre Dame shattered the old record, which was set at the same event last year, by nine strokes.The Irish shot 279-288-287 to finish ninth in the strong field of 16 teams, finishing 24 strokes behind tournament champion New Mexico.Coach John Jasinski attributes the strong showing to last week’s good practices.”We haven’t been as competitive as we need to be [in practice over the past few weeks], but we had a competitive week of qualifying and good week of preparation,” he said.Despite the impressive numbers, the scores this weekend were not as good as they seemed. The Stanford Golf Course at host Stanford University is only a par 69 rather than the typical par 72, and thus scores are subsequently lower across the board. Junior Eric Deutsch and sophomore Cole Isban led the Irish this weekend. The tandem tied for 21st with twin 6-over-par 213s. The two have been the Irish’s strongest members, regularly shooting the best rounds at tournaments. The score was Deutsch’s career best, and it ties for 10th best in school history. “Cole is solid in his spot, has yet to even be put in a qualifier, and Eric has been very consistent,” Jasinski said. Trailing them was freshman Mike King. King finished with an 8-over-par 215 to finish in a 3-way tie for 31st place. Freshman Greg Rodgers posted another in what will surely become long line of career bests, shooting a 9-over par 216. Both Rodgers and King have become serious contributors to the Irish team already in their young careers.”For being in their first year, they are showing a lot of character, especially in controlling their high score,” Jasinski said. Junior Scott Gustafson ended the weekend with a 223, finishing in a tie for 65th. Gustafson has struggled more than expected this season, and the Irish anticipate his return to his form of a year ago.”The biggest question mark on this team is when he is going to get his game back; he has a little kink in his game right now that is adding 2 or 3 shots to his scorecard,” Jasisnski said.While realizing that the team did well, Jasinski anticipates a return to tougher and longer courses, where he feels the Irish have more strength.”I wouldn’t say we’re a threat, but I’d say we’re competitive [at tougher courses.] Playing easy golf courses is not the style of play we prepare for.”