March 14, 2005
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. — Behind a strong final-round score of 298, the Notre Dame men’s golf team jumped two spots to finish second overall at the General Jim Hackler Invitational in Murrells Inlet, S.C. The Irish carded a 54-hole total of 27-over par 891 (299-294-298) to wind up a mere five strokes behind tournament host and champion Coastal Carolina. The final-round 298 was the second-lowest of the day among the 12 teams in the field and it allowed Notre Dame to move past Purdue (ranked 29th in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings) and Kansas State into the runner-up spot. It marks the third time in as many tournaments this spring the Irish have finished in the top four.
Playing as a member of the starting lineup for the first time this spring, sophomore Shane Sigsbee (McKinney, Texas/McKinney HS) came within an eyelash of capturing his first tournament title, finishing tied for second place at one-under par 215 (73-70-72), one shot behind medalist Rhys Davis of East Tennessee State. Sigsbee’s runner-up placement matches the best finish of his career (also at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational last October) and it was his third top-five showing of the season.
Junior Mark Baldwin (Laconia, N.H./New Hampton Prep) has remained a consistent presence in the Irish lineup this season and this week was no different, as the Notre Dame veteran tied for 14th place at nine-over par 225 (74-77-74). In three spring tournaments, Baldwin has placed among the top 20 each time and has had all nine rounds count to the team score.
Freshman Greg Rodgers (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul’s School) finished two shots behind Baldwin in a 21st-place tie at 11-over par 227 (79-73-75). Meanwhile, sophomore Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian HS) continued to fight through a bout with bronchitis, ending up in a tie for 30th place at 13-over par 229 (73-74-82). Junior Scott Gustafson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie HS) rounded out the Notre Dame scoring in a 54th-place draw at 25-over par 241 (84-80-77).
The General Jim Hackler Invitational featured a powerful field that included four teams that presently are receiving votes in the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA)/Bridgestone Coaches’ Poll and six squads among the top 50 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. Notre Dame ended up placing ahead of all four teams in the GCAA poll (UCF, Pepperdine, East Tennessee State and Purdue), as well as five of the six top-50 Golfweek/Sagarin squads (Purdue, #31 East Tennessee State, #33 Pepperdine, #37 Louisville and #38 UCF). The tournament was contested on the difficult TPC of Myrtle Beach (par 72/6,950 yards), which hosted the 2000 Senior PGA Tour Championship that was won by Tom Watson.
Following its run of three tournaments in three weekends to open the spring season, Notre Dame now gets a well-deserved three-week break. The Irish return to action April 2-3 when they participate in the Augusta State (Ga.) Invitational.
— ND —
FINAL TEAM RESULTS (54-hole totals): 1. Coastal Carolina 886 (298-284-304); 2. NOTRE DAME 891 (299-294-298); 3. Purdue 895 (296-290-309); 4. Kansas State 900 (295-296-309); 5. Louisville 901 (307-292-302); 6. UNC Wilmington 904 (297-300-307); 7. East Tennessee State 905 (296-304-305); 8. North Florida 907 (300-300-307); 9. Pepperdine 908 (316-296-296); 10. UCF 911 (301-300-310); 11. Furman 916 (303-304-309); 12. Virginia Tech 926 (303-316-307).
TOP SIX INDIVIDUALS (of 63): 1. Rhys Davies (East Tennessee State) 214 (70-73-71); 2. (tie) Shane Sigsbee (Notre Dame) 215 (73-70-72) and Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina) 215 (74-69-72); 4. Matt VanCleave (Kansas State) 218 (77-67-74); 5. (tie) Rob Langley (Furman) 219 (75-70-74) and Tyler Brown (North Florida) 219 (74-70-75).
OTHER NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (of 63): 14. (tie) Mark Baldwin 225 (74-77-74); 21. (tie) Greg Rodgers 227 (79-73-75); 30. (tie) Cole Isban 229 (73-74-82); 54. (tie) Scott Gustafson 241 (84-80-77).