Irish leap to 11th in Lone Star Invite
Kit Loughran | Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The Irish posted their best score of the spring season in the second round of the Lone Star Invitational on Monday. The Irish finished the afternoon round four-under-par, which marks their best score on the season.Notre Dame will enter the third and final round of the tournament in 11th place with a two-day score of 586 (302 and 284).
“The team did a great job coming back from a poor round,” senior captain Niall Platt said. “We improved by 18 shots in the second round, and everyone showed a lot of determination to put up a good round two.”
After a first-round team score of 14-over-par, four of the team’s five starters contributed rounds at or under par, which is the first time this season that the Irish had four starting scores of par or better.
Platt rallied from a two-over first round to birdie six holes in the afternoon for a three-under-par 69 and secure a 16th place finish. This marks his eighth under par round of the 2014 season.
“I was happy to make a comeback in the second round,” Platt said. “In the first round I didn’t hit the ball very well and was pretty disappointed with a 74. Second round I hit the ball great and probably could have shot a lot lower if had made more putts, [but] overall I was happy with a second round of 69.”
Junior Patrick Grahek birdied four holes in the first round for an even-par 72. In the second round, Grahek had consecutive birdies at the par-five 13th and par-four 14th hole to counter a bogey earlier in the round. He closed the round after 10 straight pars with a birdie-bogey finish for another even 72 and a 19th place overall ranking.
“I played very well today,” Grahek said. “I didn’t make many mistakes and really kept my game under control.”
Freshman Matt Rushton gained greater control of the course in the afternoon round. Rushton’s double-bogey in the first round contributed to his five-over-par 77, but he notched five birdies in the second round that brought him to an even-72 in the second round.
Freshman Liam Cox, who shot a seven-over-par score 79 in the first round, birdied his last three holes of the second round for a one-under-par 71, while senior tri-captain Andrew Carreon finished the day with a combined score of 186 (82-76).
“We did a great job showing up to play on the second 18 in the afternoon,” Grahek said. “We were all very comfortable and our freshmen especially stepped up to post some good scores to help the team.”
No. 20 New Mexico opened the tournament with a nine-stroke lead to card a two-round score of 13-under-par (281-282). No. 38 Purdue stands in second place at four-under-par after posting a 280 in the second round (292-280-572). Southeastern Louisiana (288-285) and No. 25 Baylor (283-290) enter the third round in third place at three-under-par 573.
While the Irish have a solid starting point heading into the final round of the tournament, they have keep their control and focus if they want to move past their opponent, Platt said.
“We all need to stay patient,” Platt said. “We all have a desire to shoot a low round tomorrow but it’s important that we don’t get frustrated if things don’t go our way or if we start missing some putts.
“Everyone started hitting the ball really well in the second round today so if we continue to do that the good scores will come with patience.”
The Irish head into the third and final round of the Lone Star Invitational today for an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.