Notre Dame golf slides from third seed to ninth-place finish, misses NCAA Championships
Aidan Thomas | Wednesday, May 18, 2022
For the first time since September 7, the Notre Dame men’s golf squad did not finish in the top five at an event. It represented abysmal timing for the Irish.
With the top five teams at the Palm Beach Gardens NCAA Regional advancing to the NCAA Championship, Notre Dame faltered. They ended the first round in third place, but they dropped to sixth place after round two. They still seemed alive for a championship berth, entering the final day just two strokes behind fifth place.
Notre Dame suffers final day slump
However, Notre Dame struggled to the finish line. The Irish started the third round with a team score of 12-over-par and two golfers under par. As a squad, they posted a 9-over-par for the first nine holes Wednesday. They ended the day with zero golfers under par. Starting on hole 10, graduate student Davis Chatfield birdied the first hole of the day to get things started for Notre Dame. However, it was one of just four birdies carded by an Irish golfer in the first nine holes.
The Irish didn’t blow anyone away early, but neither did they drop off completely. After four holes of play, they sat at a team score of 1-over-par. But over holes 14 and 15, playing as the fifth and sixth holes of the day for the Irish, hopes of qualifying for an NCAA Championship appearance shattered. Four Irish golfers combined for four bogies and a double bogey and just three pars between the two holes. That brought Notre Dame to a 7-over-par, and a triple bogey on hole 17 cemented a slow nine holes.
Junior Palmer Jackson notched two birdies in his first nine holes to pace the Irish with an even score. The Irish didn’t card any birdies on the front nine until hole 5 when Chatfield picked up his second of the day. Jackson’s consecutive double-bogeys on Holes 4 and 5 put a damper on a strong front nine. He finished 4-over-par on the day and 13-over-par for the tournament. The Irish did add three birdies to their total on the par-5 sixth, but it was far too little, too late. Notre Dame wrapped up a final-round 308 to finish in ninth place.
Veterans lead Irish, but drought continues
Chatfield and senior Taichi Kho paced the scoring with top-20 tournament finishes for the Irish. Chatfield finished tied for 16th with a 2-over-par. Kho birdied two of the final four holes of the day to sneak into a tie for 19th with a 3-over-par tournament performance. He was the only Irish golfer to score even over the final nine holes. Chatfield led the Irish with 13 birdies over three days. Kho noticed nine, and Jackson carded seven.
The Irish season ended yet again in the NCAA regional, finishing 18 shots of the fifth-place. The team will have to wait until next spring for another shot at a championship appearance. Top-40 programs Vanderbilt, Florida State, Florida and South Florida all qualified. Unranked College of Charleston stole the last spot.