Notre Dame wraps up fall season
Kit Loughran | Monday, October 27, 2014
The Irish concluded their fall campaign with a 13th-place finish at the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate on Sunday.
Notre Dame was unable to carry its second-round momentum into the final round of the 13-team event, hosted by North Carolina at Greensboro at the Grandover Resort East Course in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Irish posted a final score of 903 (305-295-303). North Carolina finished first at 849 and Virginia Tech as runner-up at 861.
“We had a tough go of it this weekend,” Irish coach James Kubinski said. “We had some good individual rounds, [senior] Tyler [Wingo]’s 70 and both [sophomore] Matt [Rushton] and [freshman] Thomas [Steve] shooting 72, but that covers only 25 percent of our play.
“We made too many simple errors throughout the event, things our teams just don’t typically do.”
The Irish opened with a slow first round (305), but they managed to improve their overall score by 10 strokes for a score of 600 and the 12th-place standing after Saturday’s second 18. Wingo led Notre Dame’s comeback effort in the second round, posting a 2-under-par 70 for a share of 16th place at 146 (76-70).
Wingo shot three straight pars on the back nine to make the afternoon round his best 18-hole score of his 2014 season. Wingo finished the event with a score of 232 (76-70-86) and a share of 64th place.
Steve led the Irish across all three rounds, tied at 27th overall with a total score of 223 (72-77-74). He tallied three birdies in the opening round for an even-par 72. Though two double bogeys landed Steve 5-over-par after the second round, the freshman birdied two par-5s to secure his second top individual placement in the Irish starting lineup. He posted three top-25 finishes throughout the fall campaign.
“Thomas posted two pretty good rounds, a good sign from the freshman,” Kubinski said. “He definitely competed his heart out, which is a trademark of a high-achieving player.”
Sophomore Matt Rushton followed next behind Steve. The sophomore shot 12-over overall (80-76-72-228). Rushton shot 16 pars in the third round, gaining 16 spots on the leaderboard to snag a share of 51st place.
Senior Patrick Grahek tallied a 54-hole total of 231 (77-74-80) and tied for 62nd place. Sophomore Liam Cox completed the Irish lineup in 67th place with a score of 233 (81-75-77).
Notre Dame’s 13th-place finish caps off the program’s fall season. Though the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate did not mark the team’s best performance this fall, the Irish secured four top-10 finishes throughout the campaign. Now, with the promise of young golfers and opportunities for the remaining lineup’s continued improvement, Kubinski said the Irish are prepared to step up for the spring season in 2015.
“In some sports, being bigger, stronger and faster will allow a team to overwhelm an opponent regardless of slightly better preparation or practice,” Kubinski said. “Our sport is mostly a mental game. It comes down to confidence and core beliefs.
“Neither is built overnight. It takes long-term commitment to the sport and the process. We need more players invested in this way. We have physical talent. Our task is to develop the most important area.”
The Irish begin their spring season at the Jones Invitational at the Vallencia Country Club in Los Angeles on Feb. 23-24.