Sept. 21, 2014
SKOKIE, Ill. – Following an opening nine-over-par 289 during the first round, the University of Notre Dame men’s golf team battled challenging conditions up the leaderboard Sunday afternoon during round two of the Windon Memorial Classic at the Evanston Golf Club. The Irish carded a five-over 285 to post an opening 36-hole score of 574 (289-285), vaulting from 10th to sixth place in the process.
Periods of rain throughout the tournament’s first day impacted play, with sporadic showers conflicting with both rounds on Sunday. Notre Dame persevered through the test, posting the fifth-lowest second round among the 15 teams in the Windon Memorial Classic field.
“We love the layout here at Evanston Golf Club, a Donald Ross restoration,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “The combination of a steady 15-18 MPH wind all day and some very difficult hole locations, many on the edges, made birdies tough to find out there. Today required great patience.
“I was proud of how our team shook off a tough start,” Kubinski added. “We were nine-over on our opening nine this morning. We played the middle 18 holes under par today, which showed some heart.”
Sophomore Matthew Rushton logged the best finish among all Notre Dame players during the tournament’s opening day, posting only three over-par numbers during his first 36 holes. After teeing off on No. 10 to open the first round, Rushton’s only setback on his opening nine was a double bogey at the par 3 12th hole as part of an outward score of 37. The Cape Town, South Africa native shook off a bogey at No. 1 with a birdie at the 322-yard fifth hole, helping to turn a back nine 35 and an opening round two-over-par 72.
Rushton posted red numbers aplenty during his afternoon 18, with birdies on the par 4 11th and 15th holes to move to two-under-par. A bogey at the par 4 18th was the only step back for the Notre Dame sophomore during round two, as a pair of birdies during an inward score of 33 (-2) powered Rushton to a three-under 67 and a tie for fourth place (72-67=139, -1).
“Matthew battled hard for a 72 this morning and then posted a great 67 this afternoon,” Kubinski said. “He just keeps growing as a player. He doesn’t need his best to post strong scores, which is a learned skill.”
Making his first official start of the fall season, sophomore Liam Cox knocked in a birdie at the par 5 13th hole during his opening nine to move to one-under par. Cox shook off two bogeys before bouncing back with an even par 35 on his back nine, capping an opening one-over-par 71. Cox closed his second round with a birdie at the par 4 ninth hole to fire a three-over 73, tying for 31st place (71-73=144, +4).
Also in his first fall tournament in the Notre Dame starting five, senior Tyler Wingo birdied three holes on day one of the Windon Memorial Classic, tying for 48th place at 147 (74-73).
“It was great to see our two lineup additions this week, Liam and Tyler, contribute in a big way,” Kubinski said. “Liam led us this morning with a 71 and both posted 73 this afternoon, on a day they were competing for 36 holes for the first time in quite a while.”
Senior Patrick Grahek made four birdies over his final six holes of his front nine during his afternoon round, but ultimately took a step back following a five-over inward nine to log a 73. Grahek claimed a share of 36th place with a combined score of 145 (72-73). Freshman Thomas Steve added seven total birdies, including four during his second round alone, to tie for 60th place (76-72=148).
“I was proud of how Thomas played his last 27 holes today in one-under-par, after opening nine-over through his first nine holes,” Kubinski said. “That’s very difficult to do, to shake off tough play, especially in windy conditions. He brings things to our team that not many freshmen can.”
California posted a team score of one-under 279 during its second round to take a one stroke lead at four-over-par 564 (285-279). Ohio State (284-281) and Michigan (281-284) tied for second place at 565, with Iowa (283-285=568) and Marquette (283-286=569) rounding out the top five teams in front of Notre Dame.
“It was encouraging to have all five players in the mix today,” Kubinski said. “We’ll need that tomorrow. We’d like to go post a solid score and then see what happens with the teams in front of us.”
The third and final round of the Windon Memorial Classic is scheduled to begin with tee times off both nines at 9 a.m. (ET) on Monday. Live results will be available via GolfStat.com.
Windon Memorial Classic-Evanston Golf Club-Par-70, 6,793 Yds.
TEAMS (After Round 2): 1. California 285-279=564, +4; T2. Ohio State 284-281=565, +5; T2. Michigan 281-284=565, +5; 4. Iowa 283-285=568, +8; 5. Marquette 283-286=569, +9; 6. Notre Dame 289-285=574, +14; T7. Lamar 289-286=575, +15; T7. Purdue 291-284=575, +15; 9. Tennessee 286-290=576, +16; 10. Minnesota 289-288=577, +17; 11. St. John’s 283-295=578, +18; 12. Wisconsin 290-289=579, +19; 13. Northwestern 293-287=580, +20; 14. Tulsa 285-298=583, +23; 15. North Texas 287-299=586, +26.
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS (After Round 2): 1. Jose Mendez (Minnesota) 68-67=135, -5; T2. Dylan Crowley (St. John’s) 66-72=138, -2; T2. Clark Engle (Ohio State) 69-69=138, -2; T4. Matthew Rushton (Notre Dame) 72-67=139, -1; T4. K.K. Limbhasut (California) 68-71=139, -1; T4. Nick Nelson (Marquette) 69-70=139, -1; T7. Mans Berglund (Lamar) 67-73=140, E; T7. Eddie Wajda (Wisconsin) 72-68=140, E; T7. Grant Weaver (Ohio State) 72-68=140, E; T7. Patrick Sanchez (Marquette) 69-71=140, E.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (After Round 2): T4. Matthew Rushton 72-67=139, -1; T31. Liam Cox 71-73=144, +4; T36. Patrick Grahek 72-73=145, +5; T48. Tyler Wingo 74-73=147, +7; T60. Thomas Steve 76-72=148, +8.