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Irish struggle against Wildcats

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, October 6, 2004

The Irish now know they have work to do. After entering the Windon Memorial Classic to see how they compared to the top teams in both the district and the nation, the Irish were give a hard dose of reality.

Notre Dame finished well behind host Northwestern’s winning team score of 865 by placing 14th in the field of 18. Its team score of 906 was 41 strokes off the lead.

The field had five teams that made the NCAA finals last year, including defending champion California. Additionally, nine other teams qualified for the NCAAs, with the Irish being one of these teams.

Freshman Greg Rodgers, who has been performing stronger with each passing week, led the Irish this weekend. This showing was the best outing of his brief career for the Irish. Rodger’s seven-over-par score of 220, which included a 69 on Monday’s second round, placed him in a tie for 19th place.

Sophomore Cole Isban was the runner-up for the Irish, shooting a three-round total of 226, placing himself in a tie for 44th. Junior Tommy Balderston, who won the John Dallio Memorial Invitational two weeks ago finished in 74th place with a score of 233. This placed him one stroke ahead of teammate Eric Deutsch, who shot a 234 and concluded the tournament in 77th.

Junior Scott Gustafson, who has missed most of the year due to injuries sustained in a van accident, played in his first event of the season. After shooting a disappointing 86 in the first round, he improved with each successive round, shooting a 72 in round three, to finish in 82nd place with a score of 236.

Additionally, five Irish golfers competed as individuals at the Earl Yestingmeier Invitational. Three of these players – Shane Sigsbee, Mark Baldwin and Eddie Peckels – scored in the top 10, having total scores of 212, 214 and 215, respectively. Also, freshman Mike King finished tied for 34th with a 223, and senior co-captain K.C. Wiseman’s score of 226 put him in a tie for 52nd.

The Irish will not compete as a team again until The Nelson Invitational, hosted by Stanford, on Oct. 23 and 24.