March 16, 2008
STATESBORO, Ga. — The Notre Dame men’s golf team capped off arguably its best tournament of the spring season, tying for 12th place at the Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational, which concluded Sunday at the Forest Heights Country Club (par 72/6,962 yards) in Statesboro, Ga. The Irish posted a three-round total of 24-over par 888 (297-294-297), finishing even with No. 11 Auburn in the 18-team tournament, which was won by second-ranked Alabama (849, -15).
Notre Dame also picked up wins over two ranked opponents this weekend, winding up ahead of No. 15 Michigan State (890, +26) and No. 38 North Carolina State (892, +28). The Irish now have defeated 15 Golfweek Top 25 squads in head coach Jim Kubinski’s four-year tenure, including two this season (also downed No. 22 Arkansas at the UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate Championship on Oct. 29-30). With a high-powered field that featured 12 Top 50 teams, including seven Top 25 squads, the Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational is considered one of the premier events on the college golf circuit, and marks the eighth time in as many tournaments this year that Notre Dame has played in an event ranked among the top 40 in the nation.
Junior Josh Sandman (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) collected his second consecutive top-10 finish (and fifth of his career), tying for sixth with a career-low score of four-under par 212 (73-71-68). Sandman, whose previous low tournament mark had been 213 on two occasions (most recently at the Coca-Cola Duke Classic on Oct. 7-8), tied Georgia Southern’s Logan Blondell for low-round honors on Sunday, carding three birdies and an eagle on No. 18 (his ninth hole of the day). Sandman was the only player in the 96-man field to register an eagle on the 18th hole at Forest Heights during the weekend.
South Carolina’s George Bryan IV took medalist honors at the Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational, rolling in a birdie putt on the final hole for a one-shot win over Alabama’s Michael Thompson.
Sophomore Carl Santos-Ocampo (Naples, Fla./Community School of Naples) wrapped up a solid tournament in a tie for 44th place at six-over par 222 (76-73-73), posting his best score as a member of the Irish travel squad and one shot off his best career 54-hole mark. Sophomore Doug Fortner (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) finished two strokes behind his classmate in a tie for 56th place at eight-over par 224 (74-76-74).
The two Notre Dame freshmen on the trip struggled during the final round. After two good early rounds, Tyler Hock (Ocala, Fla./Forest) slipped to an 83rd-place tie at 15-over par 231 (74-74-83). Meanwhile, Connor Alan-Lee (Solana Beach, Calif./La Jolla Country Day School) wound up in a tie for 92nd place at 18-over par 234 (76-76-82).
The Irish will be back in action March 23-25 when they travel to Tucson, Ariz., for the National Invitational Tournament at the Arizona National Golf Club.
— ND —
Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational
March 14-16, 2008 — Statesboro, Ga.
Forest Heights Country Club (par 72/6,962 yards)
FINAL TEAM RESULTS (54-hole totals): 1. Alabama 849 (285-280-284); 2. Florida 856 (290-279-287); 3. South Carolina 859 (286-281-292); 4. Tennessee 865 (282-289-294); 5. (tie) Georgia Southern 870 (301-288-281) and UAB 870 (286-289-295); 7. LSU 871 (287-291-293); 8. Kentucky 877 (294-289-294); 9. North Florida 881 (303-291-287); 10. North Carolina 885 (298-290-297); 11. Augusta State 886 (295-291-300); 12. (tie) NOTRE DAME 888 (297-294-297) and Auburn 888 (296-291-301); 14. Michigan State 890 (295-296-299); 15. Minnesota 891 (305-286-300); 16. North Carolina State 892 (296-296-300); 17. New Mexico 901 (304-294-303); 18. Boston College 937 (318-305-314).
TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME FINISHERS (of 96): 1. George Bryan IV (SC) 208 (73-66-69); 2. Michael Thompson (UA) 209 (69-71-69); 3. Logan Blondell (GSU) 210 (73-69-68); 4. (tie) Matthew Swan (UA) 211 (71-68-72) and Billy Horschel (UF) 211 (72-67-72); 6. (tie) Josh Sandman (ND) 212 (73-71-68); 44. (tie) Carl Santos-Ocampo (ND) 222 (76-73-73); 56. (tie) Doug Fortner (ND) 224 (74-76-74); 83. (tie) Tyler Hock (ND) 231 (74-74-83); 92. (tie) Connor Alan-Lee (ND) 234 (76-76-82).