Platt’s runner-up finish helps ND take sixth
Kit Loughran | Sunday, April 6, 2014
Senior tri-captain Niall Platt tied for second place in the individual draw to help the Irish earn a share of sixth place after the final round of the Irish Creek Collegiate at The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis, N.C., on Sunday.
The Irish tied Duke for sixth place with a total score of 874 (295-285-294). Platt’s second-place finish marks the best individual result on the season for any Notre Dame golfer. With his ninth career top-five finish, Platt took the lead in the program’s all time scoring average at 73.19.
“We are all so proud of Niall and how well he played individually,” junior Patrick Grahek said.
Platt moved within one stroke of the overall lead with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes.
He birdied the first and third holes but bogeyed the sixth — his only bogey on the front nine. Platt fired a one-under 34 on the front nine to finish with a 2-under-par 69.
Platt and Akron senior Charlie Bull (72-69-68) shared second place overall at 4-under 209.
“I made some mistakes in places I don’t normally make mistakes, but I was able to make up for it by putting really well,” Platt said.
The Irish maintained consistency across the board, as freshmen Matt Rushton and Liam Cox both had strong performances. Rushton had five birdies in his final round to post a 2-over par 73 to tie for 17th place with a 4-over-par 217 (72-72-73). Cox earned a final score of 227 (80-70-77).
“Matthew finally got his groove back this week with a solid performance and Liam continues to gain confidence as well,” Grahek said.
Grahek birdied three holes in his third round to earn a 75. He tied for 41st place with an 11-over par score of 224 (76-73-75). Sophomore Cory Sciupider finished the weekend with a total of 238 (77-80-81).
“I think for the most part the team played well,” Platt said. “We all made some mistakes that could have easily been avoided but the guys are starting to show some improvement.”
The Irish definitely saw improvement from the first round to the second. Overall, the Irish had a 10-stroke team improvement from round one to its afternoon 18 holes.
No. 47 Georgia State earned the team victory with a final round 5-over-par 289, as part of a total score of 859 (288-282-289). No. 50 North Florida finished second at 860 (291-279-290). The tournament co-host Charlotte (287-284-300) and No. 36 Wake Forest (288-292-291) tied for third place at 871. Ohio State took fifth with a team score of 873 (298-281-294).
The Irish return to action April 21 in the Oak Hill Intercollegiate.
“The guys are starting to show more maturity and handling their emotions better,” Platt said. “The freshmen put up some good rounds which they can use as confidence moving forward. We just need to continue to practice and play outside now that the weather is getting better at home and we’ll be in great shape for the next tournament.”
The Irish compete in the Oak Hill Intercollegiate in Rochester, N.Y., on April 21.