Notre Dame finishes second at home meet
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, October 13, 2016
Notre Dame returned to Warren Golf Course this week to compete in the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic. Despite the home field advantage, the Irish finished one stroke behind University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to finish second. As the top individual, senior Blake Barens recorded a school-record 9-under-par score of 209 to take home medalist honors for the Irish.
The last time Notre Dame competed at Warren Golf Course, the team took home first place in the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge over Valparaiso and Detroit, but this time around the Irish went up against a field of 14 other programs. After day one at the event, the Irish placed fifth with a score of 285 on Sunday while Eastern Michigan took the early lead with an even-par score of 280.
The Irish improved their score Monday by two strokes, moving into a tie for second place with Illinois State. Both teams trailed UTEP by eight strokes. In the final day of the tournament, Notre Dame, who teed off with UTEP and Illinois State, moved up to one stroke behind the Miners but failed to overcome the deficit. Ball State finished in third with a final score of 849, Eastern Michigan finished fourth and recorded a score of 851, and Illinois State rounded up the top five with a score of 854.
The team which competed consisted of Barens, sophomore Ben Albin, junior Thomas Steve, sophomore Miguel Delgado and freshman David Lamb.
Playing as individuals, Irish senior Matthew Rushton carded a three-day score of 2-over-par 212, senior Liam Cox recorded a score of 5-over-par 215, freshman Hunter Ostrom and sophomore Kevin Connors each finished with 6-over-par 216, junior Jens Verhey recorded a score of 7-over-par 217, and freshman John Felitto finished with a score of 9-over-par 219. The next leading individual was Cole Donielson from UTEP who recorded a score of 221.
Barens, who competed in the U.S. Open Amateur over the summer, was the only Irish golfer to finish under par.
The finish in the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic was a substantial improvement over their previous finish in the Georgia State Maui Jim Intercollegiate, where the squad finished 14th of the 16 teams that competed. As the team moves into the break, Notre Dame will travel to Beallsville, Maryland, and compete in the Georgetown Intercollegiate at Maryland’s Four Streams Golf Club course. Notre Dame tees off Monday and concludes the invitational the following day.