Irish finish season 11th at ACCs
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, April 28, 2015
The Irish took to the links one final time this season, finishing in 11th place at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament at Old North State Club in New London, North Carolina.
Because they compete in the ACC, Notre Dame was forced to compete against some of the toughest competition in the nation. The conference boasts ten teams in the top 50 of the GolfStat rankings and five in the top 30, including No. 1 Florida State, No. 11 Georgia Tech, No. 19 North Carolina, No. 23 Wake Forest and No. 28 Virginia, while the Irish check in at No. 154 in the national rankings.
Georgia Tech ultimately prevailed over the field to capture its second conference title in as many seasons. The Yellow Jackets won the team championship after a two-hole playoff against No. 37 Clemson. Both the Yellow Jackets (284-279-282) and the Tigers (281-283-281) carded teams scores of 845 to tie for first place, edging out the top-ranked Seminoles, 846, by a single stroke (282-282-282).
Meanwhile the Irish competed about as well as expected in what head coach Jim Kubinski has repeatedly called a transitional season, with a team led largely by underclassmen.
Sophomore Blake Barens paced the Irish over the weekend, finishing in a tie for 43rd place with a score of 11-over-par 227 (77-76-74). Sophomore Matthew Rushton and junior Cory Sciupider came in immediately behind Barens with scores of 12-over-par 228, good enough to tie for 46th place.
Other members of this Irish squad who played over the weekend included senior Tyler Wingo and freshman Thomas Steve. Wingo finished tied for 52nd place with a final score of 14-over-par 230 (76-78-76), while Steve came in at 58th place with a 20-over-par 236 (79-81-76).
Ultimately the Irish compiled a team score of 911 (303-305-303) to finish 47-over-par, edging only Boston College, who ended the tournament with a 913 (303-311-299).
With the ACC tournament now in the rear view mirror and no invitation to the NCAA tournament at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, Notre Dame will have to turn its focus to the fall and the season ahead of them next year.
Because of the nature of this year’s transitional team, the Irish will have a lot to build on and the pieces with which to do it. Other than Wingo and seniors Patrick Grahek and David Lowe, next year’s team will be composed much of the same key young players who now have extensive experience under their belts.