Irish drop to 11th on final day at Windon Memorial
Kit Loughran | Monday, September 22, 2014
The Irish finished in 11th place at the Windon Memorial Classic at the Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, Illinois on Monday.Notre Dame entered the third round of the two-day tournament in sixth place. The team posted a solid front nine performance during the final round, but it could not continue its momentum into the last nine holes. The Irish dropped 13 strokes for a final-round score of 296 and 11th place (289-285-296-870, +30). California (285-279-270) won the tournament with a six-under-par score of 834, which broke the course’s lowest 54-hole team score.
“We were in position for some good wins through 45 holes but let a few slip away over the last nine holes,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said. “We went from a building block to a stumbling-block event. We have to keep things in perspective though. We have 80 percent of our season ahead, and there’s enough good within our team to get something going.”
Individually, sophomore Matt Rushton finished in a tie for 14th place (72-67-73-212). Rushton posted the best finish for the Irish after day one, closing out the second round at one-under-par. He had two birdies on the afternoon 18, while a bogey on the 18th hole marked his only setback on the round. He shot an even-par 35 on the back nine of the third round, tying for fifth in the tournament with 39 pars.
“I thought Matt played his heart out,” Kubinski said. “He got off to a tough start today. I think he just wants it too much sometimes. He’ll figure that out, that balance between desire and allowing yourself to keep your focus on the process, and accomplish great things. He’s a young player who is growing each week.”
Senior Tyler Wingo (74-73-72-219) and sophomore Liam Cox (71-73-76-220) completed their fall-season debuts with a share of 41st and 45th place, respectively. Wingo shot the lowest score for the Irish in the third round, with back-to-back birdies on holes six and seven. He posted three birdies in the first two rounds. Cox shot just one-over-par in the first round and three-over-par in the second. He had an eagle on the par-five sixth hole of the final round, making him one of only nine players in the tournament to log an eagle.“Tyler improved each round, which was good to see,” Kubinski said. “He hit a lot of quality shots and competed very well. Liam played very solid golf over 45 holes. He just struggled finishing today off. There’s a lot to be excited about there, though. When you can post numbers over 45 holes, you can post them over 54. Liam should take some big positives this week.”
Senior Patrick Grahek (72-72-75-220) shared 45th with Cox. During the second round, Grahek had four birdies on the final six holes of his front nine. Freshman Thomas Steve (76-72-76-224) tied for 67th place. Steve posted nine birdies and tallied a 4.17 scoring average on par-five holes.
Like Steve, the rest of the Irish starting lineup represented well in scoring averages on par-fives, with each player scoring a cumulative even par or better on par-fives. Steve led the group at five-under-par and Wingo and Cox followed next at one-under-par. Rushton and Grahek finished even-par on the par-five holes.
“We’ve proven we can post strong scores and complete with the nation’s top teams over sample sizes,” Kubinski said. We just need to learn to finish these tournaments out. In spite of losing a few places with today’s finish, we’re improving. We’ll come out next weekend at home with a goal of competing over 54 holes.”
The Irish will host the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic on Sept. 28-30. The first two rounds will be held at the Warren Golf Course, while the third round will be played at Lost Dunes Golf Club in Bridgman, Michigan.