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Connell, Smith Win Notre Dame Golf Campus Championships

Sept. 5, 1999

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Senior Jeff Connell (La Crosse, Wis.) continued his mastery at the Notre Dame Campus Golf Championship while junior Shane Smith (St. Petersburg, Fla.) claimed medalist honors in the women’s competition, following final-day action Sunday at Blackthorn Golf Club.

Connell-who shot a one-over 73 in Saturday’s round (after which the men’s field was cut from 52 to 27 golfers)-closed the four-round tournament with a 74 on Sunday morning and a one-under 71 in the afternoon. His total of four-over 292-which included a 74 in the Aug. 29 first round-yielded a five-stroke cushion over classmate Todd Vernon (Englewood, Colo.) and sophomore Steve Ratay (Arlington Heights, Ill.), who both posted totals of 297.

Connell’s impressive four-year run at the Campus Championship includes placing fourth as a freshman in 1996 (303), edging Vernon by a shot for the 1997 title(298) and losing in a playoff to Brad Hardin last year (292). He averaged 74.06 strokes per round over his four Campus Championship appearances (all at Blackthorn).

Smith shot 79 on Sunday to win the 36-hole women’s championship, after carding an 81 on Aug. 29. Smith’s 160 total bested junior Becca Schloss (82-82, Bloomsburg, Pa.) by four strokes, followed by junior Danielle Villarosa (82-83, Verona, N.J.) and sophomore Kristin McMurtrie (82-83, Calgary, Alberta) at 165.

Smith’s final-round 79 included birdies on the par-4, 292-yard 2nd hole and the par-4, 407-yard 10th. She had 10 pars, three bogeys and three double-bogeys in the final round.

Connell’s 292 total included 14 birdies, 42 pars, 14 bogeys and two double-bogeys. He opened play on Aug. 29 with four birdies and six bogeys while his round on Saturday included four birdies, three bogeys and one double. Connell stumbled a bit on Sunday morning (two birdies, two bogeys, one double) before closing the tournament with a four-birdie, three-bogey round.

Connell’s 14 birdies came on 11 different holes, including two each on the par-four, 465-yard 5th, the par-five, 525-yard 15th and the par-five, 534-yard 18th. He posted three birdies on par-three holes, six on par-four holes and five on par-fives.

Vernon, who held a two-shot lead after an opening-round 72, dropped to a 76 on Saturday before improving with rounds of 75 and 74 on Sunday. Ratay-who served as a member of the Irish starting five in the spring of 1999-opened last week with a 74 before adding round of 75-71-77 for his 297 total.

Other top finishers in the men’s competition included juniors Alex Kent (77-75-76-74/302, Asuncion, Paraguay) and Adam Anderson (74-77-74-79/304, Plankinton, S.D.). The best round of the tournament also was turned in by a junior, as Pat Schaffler (Dallas, Texas) shot a two-under 70 on Sunday afternoon for a 307 total (81-78-78-70). Schaffler made up for three bogeys in his final round (on 7, 12 and 18) by posting birdies on the 2nd, 5th, 11th, 15th and 16th holes.

Rounding out the top finishers for the women were surprising freshman Michelle Halverson (Plymouth, Minn., 83-85/168) and junior Mary Klein (86-83, Kokomo, Ind.).

Senior Andrea Klee (Neenah, Wis.) was unable to defend her campus championship title, due to a wrist injury suffered in early August. The condition of her arm will be checked on a weekly basis and the Irish team captain will remain out indefinitely while clarifying the extent of her injury.

Final Results
Aug. 29, Sept. 4-5
Blackthorn Golf Club
Par 72 5,961 yards

 1. Jeff Connell 74-73-74-71/292 2. Todd Vernon 72-76-75-74/297    Steve Ratay 74-75-71-77/297  4. Alex Kent 77-75-76-74/302 5. Adam Anderson 74-77-74-79/304   6. Pat Schaffler 81-78-78-70/307   7. Brandon Lunke 83-79-74-74/310  8. Jon Reeder 80-77-75-79/311      Kevin Ricci 82-74-79-76/311      Tony Bartsh 74-83-78-76/311  11. Jarrett Bingemann 75-78-79-80/312     Rory Cleary 77-76-78-81/312 13. Michael Hastings 80-76-79-78/313     Jeff Irish 81-74-81-77/313      Chris Whitten 83-79-77-74/313  16. Cameron Schubert 75-79-77-83/314  17. Bo Plummer 82-80-81-76/319  18. Scott Meader 79-82-81-78/320      Adam Vecchi 79-75-85-81/320  20. Fernando Herrera 82-82-75-82/321  21. J.B. Bump 80-80-81-81/322  22. John Dunham 85-79-85-75/324  23. Patrick Caraher 78-80-86-81/325     Josh Leeman 83-78-82-82/325 25. Corey Campbell 80-85-81-80/326 26. John Caliolo 82-82-8-79/327  27. Rob Sina 83-82-83-82/330.

Final Results
Aug. 29, Sept. 5
Blackthorn Golf Club
Par 72 5,181 yards

 1. Shane Smith 81-79/160   2. Becca Schloss 82-82/164  3. Danielle Villarosa 82-83/165      Kristin McMurtrie 82-83/165   5. Michelle Halverson 83-85/168  6. Mary Klein 86-83/169  7. Beth Cooper 85-86/171   8. Shelby Strong 88-84/172   9. Terri Taibl 92-83/175  10. Priscilla Ro 89-87/17611. Brigid Fisher 90-88/178  12. Nina Siggins 95-90/185  13. Jenny Lynch 91-96/187  14. Lauren Fuchs 93-97/190  15. Sara Rabe 103-88/191 16. Lindsay Petersen 103-92/195.