March 17, 2014
NAPLES, Fla. – Windy conditions at the Talis Park Golf Club on Monday changed the complexion of what had been a score-yielding layout on Sunday’s opening rounds of the Talis Park Challenge. None of the 14 teams in the tournament field came within 10 strokes of breaking par during the third round, which caused a shuffle for position in the middle of the leaderboard.
The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team withstood the conditions, and some of the scores that followed, and claimed the first top five finish of its 2014 spring campaign with a team score of 908 (299-295-314). The Irish tied for third overall in the field with 36 birdies over three rounds, and made the fifth-most pars over 54 holes with 146.
Senior tri-captain Niall Platt earned his best tournament finish of the season, tying for third place overall (74-70-73-217, +1) following a final round one-over-par 73 that was played in the difficult weather pattern. The steady Platt closed his final round with three birdies, including one in his final nine at the par 5 15th hole, to finish a mere two strokes behind co-winners Carson Jacobs of Vanderbilt (70-73-72) and Marco Iten of Austin Peay (73-73-69) at one-under-par 215.
Platt finished his weekend with the second-most pars (35) in the 75-player field, and his nine birdies were tied for fifth amongst all players. The third place finish was the 13th career top 10 for the Santa Barbara, Calif. native in his Notre Dame career.
Junior Patrick Grahek put the finishing touches on his best collegiate finish during Monday’s final round, making the trek around the Talis Park Golf Club in two-over 74. Grahek’s two-day score of 220 (74-72-74, +4) left the Alpharetta, Ga. native with her first career top 10 finish, tying Toledo’s Chris Selfridge (69-74-77) for seventh place.
Grahek tied for fourth among all tournament players with his 10 total birdies in 54 holes, and added 33 pars.
“Niall and Patrick did a great, great job,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “To come out of the winter, our first full week competing, and earn top 10 finishes is a job well done. I’m proud of not only their play but, more impressively, their maturity and determination.
“It was tough out there,” Kubinski added. “We played three rounds, with greens running 12 or 13 (on the stimpmeter), in 20-30 mph winds. It was great work by both players.”
Sophomore Cory Sciupider checked in with a tie for 39th place at 233 (76-75-82) as the third Irish finisher on the leaderboard. Junior Tyler Wingo (75-78-90-243) added a share of 59th place, with freshman Blake Barens (78-81-85-244) one stroke behind in 61st place.
Vanderbilt claimed the overall tournament championship with a three-round total of seven-over 871 (283-289-299). Wichita State claimed runner-up honors at 890 (288-304-298), followed by Austin Peay (292-305-304-901), Florida Gulf Coast (301-297-304-902) and Notre Dame.
“It’s disappointing to see us lose ground once again in a final round,” Kubinski said. “We’ve done a poor job this season of finishing. We just need a couple players to catch up on the maturity scale, in terms of both their emotions and their habits under stress. When we get that, we’ll finish events off and shoot up in the rankings.”
The Irish next travel to the Lone Star Invitational on March 24-25 at the Golf Club at Briggs Ranch in San Antonio, Texas.
Talis Park Challenge-Talis Park Golf Club-Par-72, 7,025 Yds.
TOP-10 TEAMS (Final): 1. Vanderbilt 283-289-299-871, +7; 2. Wichita State 288-304-298-890, +26; 3. Austin Peay 292-305-304-901, +37; 4. Florida Gulf Coast 301-297-304-902, +38; 5. Notre Dame 299-295-314-908, +44; 6. Indiana 298-319-299-916, +52; 7. Ball State 303-318-299-920, +56; 8. Cincinnati 305-310-306-921, +57; 9. Eastern Michigan 305-306-314-925, +61; T10. Miami (Ohio) 302-312-316-930, +66; T10. Toledo 301-305-324-930, +66.
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS (Final): T1. Marco Iten (Austin Peay) 73-73-69-215, -1; T1. Carson Jacobs (Vanderbilt) 70-73-72-215, -1; T3. Louie Cohen Boyer (Wichita State) 73-75-69-217, +1; T3. Niall Platt (Notre Dame) 74-70-73-217, +1; T3. Jake Sherwin (Florida Gulf Coast) 73-72-72-217, +1; 6. Hunter Stewart (Vanderbilt) 77-73-69-219, +3; T7. Chris Selfridge (Toledo) 69-74-77-220, +4; T7. Patrick Grahek (Notre Dame) 74-72-74-220, +4; T9. Charlie Ewing (Vanderbilt) 71-70-80-221, +5; T9. David Mills (Indiana) 72-76-73-221, +5.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (Final): T3. Niall Platt 74-70-73-217, +1; T7. Patrick Grahek 74-72-74-220, +4; T39. Cory Sciupider 76-75-82-233, +17; T59. Tyler Wingo 75-78-90-243, +27; T61. Blake Barens 78-81-85-244, +28.