September 8, 1998
– Past campus champions finish tied for men’s golf tournament title
– Newcomers Kosares, Monfort, Ratay and Whitten make varsity squad after strong showings
– Irish set to open season at Air Force Invitational, Monfort makes starting five
SOUTH BEND, Ind.– Senior co-captain Brad Hardin (Martinsville, Ind.) edged junior Jeff Connell (La Crosse, Wis.) on the first playoff hole to claim Notre Dame’s annual campus championship golf tournament, which concluded with 36 holes on Sunday at Blackthorn Golf Club.
The playoff featured the last two campus champions, as Hardin claimed the 1996 event with a score of 295 while Connell won in 1997 with a 298 (both at Blackthorn). Both players finished Sunday’s play with impressive 292 four-round totals, with Hardin posting a birdie on the par-4, 410-yard first hole to win in the playoff.
Connell held a two-shot lead on Hardin heading into Sunday’s action, after posting rounds of 72 and 73 in the tournament’s opening rounds, on Aug. 29 and 30. Hardin had opened the tournament last week with rounds of 78 and 69-the top round of the tournament-on the par-72, 7105-yard course.
Hardin was part of the first group on Sunday, with an eye-opening 6:34 a.m. tee time, but rallied to shoot two-under on the back nine for a third-round 71. Connell, meanwhile, teed off with the last group (7:25 a.m.), firing a 38 on the front nine and a 35 on the back nine for a 73 that dropped him into a tie with Hardin heading into the afternoon round.
In the final round, Hardin made the turn at one-under but went three-over on the back nine for a 74 and his 292 total (+4). Connell made his final turn at even par before going two-over on the back nine to force the playoff.
Junior co-captain Todd Vernon (Englewood, Colo.), who won the 1997 BIG EAST Conference tournament at Blackthorn with rounds of 70 and 71, rallied to a third-place finish with a 297 total. Vernon turned in rounds of 72 and 73 on Sunday, after matching rounds of 76 during the previous weekend’s play.
Freshman Kyle Monfort (Dublin, Ohio)-whose summer highlights included shooting a nine-birdie, course-record round of 63 at his home course Muirfield Country Club-struggled in his third round with a 78 before bouncing back with a final-round 70. Monfort, who posted opening rounds of 74 and 76, finished just a shot behind Vernon at 298.
Returning starter Willie Kent (Asuncion, Paraguay)–a senior who transferred to Notre Dame from St. Louis University last spring-stormed back on Sunday after a rocky second round of 82 on Aug. 30. Kent- entered Sunday in a four-way tie for 10th but used rounds of 72 and 71 to finish alone in fifth with a 302 total.
Chris Whitten (Rockford, Mich.) joined his classmate Monfort with an impressive debut effort, claiming sixth place with rounds of 72-80-74-79 and a 305 total. Sophomore Pat Schaffler (Dallas, Texas) maintained a share of seventh place with rounds of 75 and 80 for a 309 total, after firing 76 and 78 during the first two rounds. Yet another newcomer, Steve Ratay (78-80/158; Arlington Heights, Ill.), turned in an impressive performance by finishing tied for seventh after rounds of 78-80-74-77/309.
Other top finishers included junior Bo Plummer (77-76-78-82/153; Louisville, Ky.), junior Dan Bumpus (76-83-77-77/313; Brighton, Mich.), freshman John Kosares (80-82- 80-71; Denver, Colo.) and sophomore John Dunham (81-78-76-80/315; Indianapolis, Ind.).
Head coach George Thomas also announced that the following 12 players will comprise the 1998-99 varsity squad: Hardin, Kent, Bumpus, Connell , Plummer, Vernon, Dunham, Schaffler, Kosares, Monfort, Ratay and Whitten.
The following players will compete at this week’s season-opening Air Force/Cross Creek Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Sept. 11-13: Hardin, Kent, Connell, Vernon and Monfort.
Complete results from the campus championship:
NOTRE DAME MEN'S GOLF CAMPUS CHAMPIONSHIPAug. 29-30 and Sept. 6, 1998 ... Blackthorn Golf ClubPar 72 ... 7,105 yards
Final Standings (72 holes) 1. Brad Hardin 78-69-71-74/292; Jeff Connell 72-73-73-74/292;3. Todd Vernon 76-76-72-73/297;4. Kyle Monfort 74-76-78-70/298;5. Willie Kent 77-82-72-71/302;6. Chris Whitten 72-80-74-79/305;7. Pat Schaffler 76-78-75-80/309; Steve Ratay 78-80-74-77/309;9. Bo Plummer 77-76-78-82/313; Dan Bumpus 76-83-77-77/313; Jon Kosares 80-82-80-71/313;12. John Dunham 81-78-76-80/315;13. Joseph Gehrke 87-77-80-73/317;14. Adam Anderson 78-86-77-77/318;15. Brett Rechel 78-82-79-80/319;16. Kevin Leonard 81-83-77-79/320;17. John Caliolo 84-80-81-77/322; Todd Hardin 81-84-78-79/322;19. Pat Caraher 77-84-77-85/323;20. Mike Gehrke 81-77-85-81/324; Brian McCabe 80-79-88-77/324; John Micek 80-85-80-79/324;23. Matt McKay 80-81-83-81/325;24. Wesley Gleason 85-80-80-83/328;25. Chris Wilde 81-79-85-84/329;26. Wade Hellner 76-88-81-89/334;27. Dave Lubnik 86-80-86-88/340;28. Kevin Ricci 84-77-86-WD/WD.