March 13, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Physical health in competitive sports can sometimes go beyond injuries and the occasional wear and tear that an athlete is destined to face. Facing illness, and being able to overcome the hurdles that certain ailments might put in one’s way, are an unfortunate but inevitable circumstance in the course of competition.
Returning to the course for the first time this spring at the Lamkin San Diego Classic on Monday, those were the prospects that the University of Notre Dame men’s golf team were staring at from the first tee. A number of the team’s starting five had been plagued by a stomach illness since last Friday night, and were scheduled to walk 36 holes on the first day of competition.
Grit and determination propelled the Irish to a seventh place tournament finish (297-293-300-890), results that Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski believes his team can immediately build upon.
“We just need to get a few more rounds of par or better and trim all the rounds of 75 or 76 down to 73 when the players are a little off,” Kubinski said. “We can do that. This was our first time out, during a tough winter at home. We’ll work at improving each week now, with an eye on ascending in the rankings.”
Platt Continues Steady Streak At The Top Of The Lineup
Senior Niall Platt earned his 21st career top 25 finish at Notre Dame with his share of 13th place at the Lamkin San Diego Classic. Platt improved his score in each of the three rounds, carding a two-day score of two-over-par 218 (74-73-71).
The Santa Barbara, Calif. native was the second ranked player in the field on the par 3 holes at the San Diego Country Club, logging a cumulative score of two-under for the week. His 11 birdies for the tournament also tied for 10th overall among all players.
Platt leads all Notre Dame players with a 72.50 scoring average thus far in the 2013-14 season, and has cracked the top 15 on the leaderboard in five of his six starts.
Birdies Falling For Rushton
Freshman Matt Rushton led all Irish starters in birdies at the San Diego Classic, achieving 12 during his three rounds of the tournament. The 12 birdies were tied for the sixth-most in the field among all players.
Twice during the event, in both the second and third rounds, Rushton logged back-to-back birdies (No. 10-11 second round, No. 14-15 third round) to kick start his round.
Wingo Tames The Par 5s
A key to junior Tyler Wingo tying for 19th place at the San Diego Classic was his acumen at attacking the par 5 holes at the San Diego Country Club. Wingo played the four par 5’s on the golf course in a combined four-under for the tournament to lead all Notre Dame players in par 5 scoring.
Wingo made three birdies and one eagle in 12 par 5 holes, which included three par 5 birdies at the eighth, 14th and 16th holes during his second round.
On To Talis Park
Notre Dame resumes its Spring Break tournament schedule on Sunday at the Talis Park Challenge at the Talis Park Golf Club in Naples, Fla.
— Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant