Sept. 7, 2014
Independence, Minn. – The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team traveled north to Minnesota to open its fall road schedule on Sept 7-8, participating in the 54-hole Gopher Invitational at the Windsong Farm Golf Club.
Playing for the seventh time in the tournament’s 10-year history, the Irish closed out the first 36 holes on the par-71, 7,152-yard course in 10th place with a two-round total of 39-over par, 607 (302-305). That puts Notre Dame 35 strokes behind tourney leader, Baylor, as the Bears turned in rounds of 289 and 283 for a four-over par mark of 572. The Irish enter Monday’s final 18 holes trailing ninth-place Michigan State (602) by five strokes and eighth-place Alabama-Birmingham (599) by eight.
Notre Dame owns a one-stroke lead over 11th-place Nebraska (608) and a 10-stroke advantage versus 12th-place Central Arkansas (617).
Individually, Thomas Steve (Fr., Upper St. Clair, Pa.) leads the Irish contingent with a 36-hole score of five-over par 147. That’s good for a 17th-place tie in the field of 75 golfers. Steve opened his day with a five-over par 76 in the morning, but bounced back with an even-par 71 in the afternoon.
Steve’s even-par round consisted of seven birdies, five bogeys and one double bogey and was the best round of his young Notre Dame career. Last weekend (Aug. 30), in his first-ever tournament, he shot a two-over par 73 in the opening round of the 36-hole Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course.
Steve enters Monday’s final round of play 10 strokes behind tournament leader Victor Wiggins of Charlotte who shot a five-under par 137 with rounds of 68 and 69. Wiggins has a three-stroke lead over VCU’s Steffen Hamm and Baylor’s Kyle Jones as they are tied for second with two-under par marks of 140.
Following Steve on the Irish scorecard is sophomore Matt Rushton (Cape Town, South Africa) who is tied for 22nd with a six-over par 148 after rounds of 73 and 75. As a freshman, Rushton finished sixth at last year’s Gopher Invitational.
Senior Patrick Grahek (Alpharetta, Ga.) is third among Notre Dame golfers and tied for 39th overall with an 11-over par score of 153. Grahek, who shot a six-under par 136 at last weekend’s Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge, led Irish golfers after the opening round with a one-over par 72, but fired a 10-over par 81 in round two.
Rounding out the Notre Dame lineup are sophomore Blake Barens (Villa Park, Calif.) who is tied for 61st with a 160 (81-79) and junior Cory Sciupider (Etowah, N.C.) who is tied for 63rd with a 161 (81-80).
On the team side, Baylor leads California (293-289-582) by 10 strokes and host team Minnesota (294-295-589) by 17 going into the final 18 holes of play. Charlotte (296-294-590) and Kent State (291-302-593) round out the top five in the 14-team tournament.
This is the 10th edition of the Gopher Invitational and the second played at Windsong Farm Golf Club. Tourney leader, Baylor, is making its second appearance in the tournament and finished second in 2013.
Notre Dame’s golfers will tee off beginning at 7:45 a.m. (CT) in Monday’s third round, beginning on the 10th tee and will be paired with golfers from Nebraska and Central Arkansas. Sciupider (7:45 a.m.) will be followed by Barens (7:57 a.m.), Grahek (8:09 a.m.), Rushton (8:21 a.m.) and Steve (8:33 a.m.) in the final round.
TEAM RESULTS (36-hole totals): 1. Baylor 289 -283-572 ; 2. California 293-289-582; 3. Minnesota 294-295-589; 4. Charlotte 296-294-590; 5. Kent State 291-302-593; t6. Virginia Commonwealth 302-295-597; New Mexico 292-305-597; 8. Alabama-Birmingham 309-290-599; 9. Michigan State 300-302-602; 10. Notre Dame 302-305-607; 11. Nebraska 303-305-608; 12. Central Arkansas 312-305-617; 13. San Francisco 321-298-619; 14. Minnesota B Team 314-310-624; 15. St. John’s (Minn.) 317-326-643.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 75): 1. Victor Wiggins (Charlotte) 68-69-137; t2. Steffen Hamm (VCU) 71-69-140 ; 3. Kyle Jones (Baylor) 71-69-140; 4. Keelan Kilpatrick (California) 67-75-142; 5. Mikk Bjerch-Andresen (Baylor) 74-69-143; t6. Andreas Gjesteby (Baylor) 71-73-144; Gavin Green (New Mexico) 71-73-144; Jose Mendez (Minnesota) 72-72-144; t9. Joseph Abella (New Mexico) 69-76-145; Ian Holt (Kent State) 69-76-145; Jon Du Toit (Minnesota) 73-72-145; Raoul Menard (Charlotte) 72-73-145.