Platt paces Irish to seventh place finish at ACCs
Kit Loughran | Monday, April 28, 2014
The Irish finished seventh in their inaugural ACC championship tournament Sunday at Old North State Club in New London, N.C.
The Irish posted a weekend team total of 872 (294-287-291) to claim seventh. No. 5 Georgia Tech took home the ACC championship team title with a 15-under-par score of 273 Sunday to finish the weekend with a total score of 839 (288-278-273, -25).
“Overall, we did fairly well,” senior tri-captain Niall Platt said. “Our goal was to win, and we weren’t able to do that, but we competed closely with some of the best teams in the country. We worked hard to be our best at the ACC championship. We still didn’t play our best, but it was one of our best tournaments of the season.”The Irish were tied for ninth place with No. 8 Virginia after the opening day of the tournament. Senior tri-captain Andrew Lane led the Irish in the first round with a one-under-par score of 71. He made the turn 4-under-par with a score of 32 and finished tied for sixth place. Lane shot 6-over in both the second and third rounds and closed out his collegiate career tied for 56th place (71-78-78-227).
Freshman Matt Rushton and junior Patrick Grahek helped the Irish move up to fifth place after the second round with scores of 2-under-par 70 and one-under 71, respectively. With a total of four birdies, Rushton led all Irish players in the round and tied for 25th place. He finished the third round with a 4-over-par score of 76 to tie for 35th place overall at 222 (76-70-76).
Grahek finished the tournament with a combined 7-under and tied for ninth place overall (75-71-67-213). Grahek’s third round, 5-under-par score of 67 marked his career-low score.
“I was so proud of myself for staying committed to my game plan the whole weekend,” Grahek said. “I struggled in the first round, but did a fantastic job of staying confident and playing to my potential to give myself my best finish of my career.”
Platt finished his Notre Dame career with a 23rd-place finish at 217 (72-72-73). He opened the tournament with an even-par score of 72, which included nine birdies. Platt continued to play steadily in the second round and secured another even-par finish. In his last round, Platt finished one-over-par with a birdie on the par-5 18th hole.
“[The team and I] were able to avoid really high scores, which plagued us all season, this weekend,” Platt said.
Sophomore Cory Sciupider wrapped up the Irish lineup with a total score of 225 (76-74-75) for 47th place. He finished the first round tied with Rushton in 43rd place. After birdying three of the last seven holes in the second round, Sciupider managed a 2-over-par score of 74 to land himself tied in 44th place on the second day.
With their inaugural season in the ACC now behind them, the Irish are ready to move forward, and even though Platt will not be part of the Irish squad next season, he said he has high hopes for Notre Dame in conference competition.
“[This weekend] we showed that we have a chance to be a competitor in the ACC moving forward,” Platt said. “We weren’t as good as these teams this particular week, but we have the ability to be as good.”