Irish end regular season in Tennessee
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, April 9, 2015
Notre Dame closed out its regular season over the weekend at the Mason Rudolph Championship, finishing 11th in a field of 14.
The field at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee, included three teams ranked in the top 25 and six in the top 50, with No. 6 Vanderbilt winning the event and posting a six-under-par 846 over 54 holes.
The Irish shot 56-over for the tournament, carding a final score of 908 to finish eight strokes behind the College of Charleston.
After getting off to a hot start Friday with a two-under-par 69, sophomore Matthew Rushton led Notre Dame the rest of the way, finishing tied for 27th with a nine-over 222 for the tournament.
Senior Tyler Wingo also cracked the top 40 for the Irish, finishing tied for that position after shooting a three-round, 11-over 224.
Rushton — who had four birdies Friday and was tied for fourth at the completion of the first day of play — was not the only Irish golfer who enjoyed a successful opening round, as Wingo’s one-under 70 and sophomore Blake Barens’s three-over 74 helped Notre Dame to a seventh-place spot after the first round.
From there though, the Irish dropped through the field. A five-over 76 from Rushton kept him in the top 20, but senior David Lowe paced Notre Dame with a four-over-par 75 on Saturday. Wingo carded the same total to lead Notre Dame in Sunday’s round.
Late in his final round, it looked as if Rushton might be headed for a finish outside the top 35. However, the sophomore birdied both the 17th and 18th holes — a pair of par-5s — to enter the clubhouse with a six-over-par 77 on the day.
Both Rushton and Wingo made up ground over the course of the tournament on the par-5s; Rushton finished two-under while Wingo finished three-under on such holes.
Barens’s three-day total put him in a tie for 65th, while freshman Thomas Steve finished with a share of 69th position.
The 11th-place finish meant Notre Dame finished ahead of a pair of in-state rivals; Ball State finished 13th while Indiana brought up the rear in 14th.
Notre Dame returns to action in the ACC championship at the Old North State Club in New London, North Carolina. Action starts April 24 and runs through April 26.