March 13, 2005
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team continued its solid start to the 2005 spring season, moving into fourth place after two rounds at the General Jim Hackler Invitational, which began Sunday at the TPC of Myrtle Beach (par 72/6,950 yards) in Murrells Inlet, S.C. The Irish, who have finished in the top five in both of their previous spring tournaments, stand at 17-over par 593 (299-294), 11 strokes off the pace set by tournament host and current leader Coastal Carolina. The second-round 294 was only one shot off the lowest single-round score carded by Notre Dame this spring.
“We’re coming very close to becoming a very good team,” Irish head coach Jim Kubinski said. “We just have to keep gaining more confidence in ourselves and keep getting put into the fire of these high-quality tournaments. A lot of our guys shot very well for 12 to 15 holes, but couldn’t quite finish things up. If we can get four guys to play 18 holes on Monday like they did 12 or 15 (Sunday), we’ll be right in the mix to win this thing.”
Sophomore Shane Sigsbee (McKinney, Texas/McKinney HS) is in a three-way tie for first place after 36 holes, firing a one-under par 143 (73-70) in his first start of the spring season. Classmate Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian HS) isn’t far behind the leaders, tying for 10th place thus far at three-over par 147 (73-74). Junior Mark Baldwin (Laconia, N.H./New Hampton Prep) carded a two-round score of seven-over par 151 (74-77) to tie for 28th place, while freshman Greg Rodgers (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul’s School) is one stroke further back in a 33rd-place deadlock at eight-over par 152 (79-73). Junior Scott Gustafson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie HS) completes the Irish lineup in a tie for 58th place, having shot a 20-over par 164 (84-80).
“Shane was really the star for us, playing some super golf,” Kubinski said. “Cole is still probably at around 80 percent from his bout with bronchitis, but he’s a warrior and has been able to grind out some real nice rounds for us. Mark and Greg have been right there up until the last couple of holes as well, which just shows how close we are to breaking through.”
The General Jim Hackler Invitational features a strong 12-team field that includes 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 Performance Index ratings. The tournament is being contested on the difficult TPC of Myrtle Beach, which played host to the 2000 Senior PGA Tour Championship that was won by Tom Watson.
Notre Dame will back on the links Monday for the final round of the General Jim Hackler Invitational, with the first Irish golfers teeing off at 8:56 a.m. (ET).
— ND —
TEAM RESULTS (36-hole totals): 1. Coastal Carolina 582 (298-284); 2. Purdue 586 (296-290); 3. Kansas State 591 (295-296); 4. NOTRE DAME 593 (299-294); 5. UNC Wilmington 597 (297-300); 6. Louisville 599 (307-292); 7. (tie) North Florida 600 (300-300) and East Tennessee State 600 (296-304); 9. UCF 601 (301-300); 10. Furman 607 (303-304); 11. Pepperdine 612 (316-296); 12. Virginia Tech 619 (303-316).
TOP SEVEN INDIVIDUALS (of 63): 1. (tie) Shane Sigsbee (Notre Dame) 143 (73-70), Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina) 143 (74-69) and Rhys Davies (ETSU) 143 (70-73); 4. (tie) Zack Byrd (Coastal Carolina) 144 (73-71), Bobby Bennett (Purdue) 144 (73-71), Matt VanCleave (Kansas State) 144 (77-67) and Tyler Brown (North Florida) 144 (74-70).
OTHER NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (of 63): 10. (tie) Cole Isban 147 (73-74); 28. (tie) Mark Baldwin 151 (74-77); 33. (tie) Greg Rodgers 152 (79-73); 58. (tie) Scott Gustafson 164 (84-80).