Sept. 22, 2014
SKOKIE, Ill. – A solid front nine effort could not sustain momentum for the University of Notre Dame men’s golf team during the final round of the Windon Memorial Classic on Monday at the Evanston Golf Club. The Irish ultimately dropped 13 strokes on the inward nine to post a team score of 296, finishing the tournament in solo 11th place (289-285-296=870).
“We started out pretty well this morning,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “Our guys seemed comfortable in their warm up and seemed ready for a good day. We were three-over at the turn but let the tournament slip away over the last nine. It’s tough to put yourself in position for some good (head-to-head) wins through 45 holes only to let them get away.”
Sophomore Matthew Rushton bounced back from a slow start on his front nine, a three-over-par 38, by knocking in a birdie at the par 5 13th hole. An inward bogey dropped Rushton to an even par 35, a final round three-over 73 and a share of 14th place at 212 (72-67-73=212, +2). The Cape Town, South Africa native tied for fifth in the tournament field in pars (39), and added seven birdies during the 54-hole event.
Senior Tyler Wingo fired the low Notre Dame round of the day, notching back-to-back birdies at holes six and seven during a front nine turn of 34 (-1). A birdie and four bogeys on the back nine at the Evanston Golf Club knocked Wingo back three strokes to a closing two-over-par 72 and a share of 41st place (74-73-72=219). Wingo led all Irish players with a 3.25 stroke average during the tournament on par 3 holes.
Senior Patrick Grahek and sophomore Liam Cox each tied for 45th place, with Grahek posting a final round 75 (72-72-75=220) and Cox a third round 76 (71-73-76-220). Cox was one of nine players in the event field to record an eagle during the weekend, posting a three on the 503-yard, par 5 sixth hole in the final round.
Freshman Thomas Steve rounded out the Notre Dame lineup in a tie for 67th place after a six-over 76 (76-72-76=224), despite a pair of birdies at the par 5 sixth and 13th holes. Steve’s nine tournament birdies paced all Irish players, and his 4.17 scoring average on par 5s at the Evanston Golf Club was the second-best in the entire field.
In fact, every Notre Dame starter scored a cumulative even par or better in par 5 scoring, with Steve (-5), Wingo (-1) and Cox (-1) all logging red numbers. Rushton and Grahek both finished even par on the course’s par 5 holes.
California capped a team victory by breaking its own single-round Windon Memorial Classic scoring record, combining on a 10-under-par 270 to win by 13 strokes (285-279-270=834, -6). The Golden Bears also broke the lowest 54-hole score (Illinois, 843, 2008) in tournament history with the win. Ohio State earned runner-up honors at 847 (284-281-282), while Iowa (283-285-281) and Michigan (281-284-284) shared third place at 849. Marquette claimed fifth place at 856 (283-286-287).
Tulsa’s Colton Staggs tied PGA TOUR veteran and former World No. 1 ranked player Luke Donald’s course record with a final round seven-under-par 63, rising 17 spots in the standings to win by one stroke at 205 (69-73-63, -5). Minnesota’s Jose Mendez (68-67-71) and California’s Cameron Shaw (72-69-65) tied for second place at 206. Seven players tied for fourth place at one-under-par 209, with California’s Sebastian Crampton carding the lowest final 18 of the group, a four-under-par 66, in round three.
“We have to keep things in perspective, knowing 80 percent of our season lies ahead,” Kubinski said. “We definitely need to figure out a way to stop the slides. We’ve done it too often these last couple of seasons. We’ve proven we can put ourselves into position, and we must learn to close out tournaments now. We’ll regroup this week and be ready to host next weekend.”
Notre Dame welcomes seven other teams for the annual Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic Sept. 28-30. The first and third rounds of the tournament will be played at Notre Dame’s own Warren Golf Course, while round two on Sept. 29 will be held at Lost Dunes Golf Club in Bridgman, Mich.
Windon Memorial Classic-Evanston Golf Club-Par-70, 6,793 Yds.
TEAMS (FINAL): 1. California 285-279-270=834, -6; 2. Ohio State 284-281-282=847, +7; T3. Michigan 281-284-284=849, +9; T3. Iowa 283-285-281=849, +9; 5. Marquette 283-286-287=856, +16; T6. Lamar 289-286-284=859, +19; T6. Purdue 291-284-284=859, +15; T8. Northwestern 293-287-282=862, +22; T8. Tulsa 285-298-279=862, +22; 10. Tennessee 286-290-291=867, +27; 11. Notre Dame 289-285-296=870, +30; 12. St. John’s 283-295-294=872, +32; 13. Minnesota 289-288-296=873, +33; 14. Wisconsin 290-289-296=875, +35; 15. North Texas 287-299-295=881, +41.
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS (FINAL): 1. Colton Staggs (Tulsa) 69-73-63=205, -5; T2. Jose Mendez (Minnesota) 68-67-71=206, -4; T2. Cameron Shaw (California) 72-69-65=206, -4; T4. K.K. Limbhasut (California) 68-71-70=209, -1; T4. Mans Berglund (Lamar) 67-73-69=209, -1; T4. Ben-Marvin Egel (Purdue) 72-70-67=209, -1; T4. Carson Schaake (Iowa) 72-69-68=209, -1; T4. Sebastian Crampton (California) 75-68-66=209, -1; T4. Grant Weaver (Ohio State) 72-68-69=209, -1; T4. Clark Engle (Ohio State) 69-69-71=209, -1.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (FINAL): T14. Matthew Rushton 72-67-73=212, +2; T41. Tyler Wingo 74-73-72=219, +9; T45. Patrick Grahek 72-73-75=220, +10; T45. Liam Cox 71-73-76=220, +10; T67. Thomas Steve 76-72-76=224, +14.