Oct. 30, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Fresh off a sparkling performance last weekend at The Nelson Invitational in Northern California, the Notre Dame men’s golf team heads to the southern part of the Golden State Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 1-2 for the Prestige at PGA WEST, to be held in La Quinta, Calif., at the par-72, 7,156-yard Greg Norman Course at the famed PGA WEST layout. The Irish placed ninth at last week’s Nelson Invitational, carding the lowest 54-hole score in school history (854) en route to their best-ever finish at the event.
The Teams: The 2004 Prestige at PGA WEST features a strong 16-team field with squads from all corners of the country. Stanford and UC Davis are sharing the host duties at this week’s tournament, while the other teams competing are: BYU, Colorado, Kansas, Northern Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pacific, Pepperdine, TCU, Texas Tech, UC Irvine, UCLA and Yale. Four of those squads currently are ranked in the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA)/Precept Coaches Poll — No. 10 TCU, No. 16 UCLA, No. 17 BYU and No. 23 Oklahoma, while Pepperdine is receiving 67 votes (good for 26th place), Texas Tech is garnering 38 votes (32nd) and UC Irvine has seven votes (tie-44th). At the same time, seven participating teams are appearing in the top 50 of the current Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index rankings — No. 7 TCU, No. 11 UCLA, No. 13 BYU, No. 24 Texas Tech, No. 28 Pepperdine, No. 41 Colorado and No. 48 Kansas. By comparison, Notre Dame is ranked 52nd in the same poll this week.
Irish Against The Field: Notre Dame is 2-8-1 against other teams competing in the Prestige at PGA WEST. The Irish have wins over Northern Colorado and UC Davis, as well as a tie against the host Aggies.
Dates and Times: The teams will play 36 holes on Monday, followed by a final 18 holes on Tuesday. Teams will tee off each day beginning at 7:30 a.m. (PST) via a shotgun start.
The Irish Lineup: For the second consecutive tournament, Notre Dame will field a lineup that includes two freshmen. Rookie Mike King (Sidney, Ohio/Sidney) has the second-best stroke average on the team this fall (73.33), while classmate Greg Rodgers (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul’s) is coming off his best performance of the season, firing a 216 at The Nelson Invitational. Sophomore Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) continues to show outstanding consistency this fall, ranking third on the team in stroke average (73.42), while placing in the top 25 at three of his first four events. Junior Eric Deutsch (Rochester, Minn./Lourdes) will try to build upon last week’s career-low 213 at The Nelson — he has a superb 74.17 stroke average this fall. Meanwhile, junior Scott Gustafson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) has the most experience of any Irish player competing this weekend (26 tournaments), but his fall season has been hampered thus far by injuries and subsequent rehabilitation.
Last Time Out: For the second time in as many years, the Notre Dame men’s golf team set a 54-hole school scoring record at The Nelson Invitational, finishing the three-day event with a score of 26-over par 854 (279-288-287), a full nine shots better than the previous school standard set at the 2003 Nelson Invitational. Notre Dame finished in ninth place, its best showing in three visits to The Nelson.
Eric Deutsch and Cole Isban shared team-high honors this weekend, finishing among a group of seven golfers in 21st place at six-over par 213. That score also tied for the 10th-lowest tournament score in school history, and it was the best mark of Deutsch’s career (216 at the ’03 SMU/Stonebridge Invitational).
Mike King carded the second-best score of his career with an eight-over par 215 to put him in a three-way tie for 31st place. Meanwhile, Greg Rodgers posted the lowest score of his young career, shooting a nine-over par 216 to wind up in 37th place. Scott Gustafson completed the Notre Dame lineup with a tie for 65th place at 16-over par 223, matching his best mark of the season.
Irish At The Prestige at PGA WEST: This is Notre Dame’s first appearance at the event.
Tournament Results: Live scoring from the tournament will be available at www.golfstat.com and full results will be posted on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.und.com) upon completion of each day’s action. In addition, updated results will be provided on the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000, option #9).
— ND —