April 19, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Irish men’s and women’s golf teams will play host to the 2003 BIG EAST golf championships on Monday and Tuesday, April 21-22 at the Warren Golf Course on the Notre Dame campus. Admission is free and the tournament is open to the public. On the men’s side, this 24th BIG EAST Championship and the fourth one hosted by Notre Dame. The Warren Golf Course has served as host in 2000, 2002 and this year, while the 1997 championship was held at Blackthorn Country Club. To the winner of this year’s tournament goes the BIG EAST’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship in May. The Irish are seeded second this season behind Virginia Tech. The Hokies will be looking for their third consecutive title. Georgetown is seeded third, followed by St. John’s, Rutgers and Seton Hall. Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST title three times in the past, 1995, 1996 and 1997. The Irish have also had three individual winners in Bill Moore (1995), Todd Vernon (1997), and Steve Ratay (tri-champion in 2001). Last year, the Irish finished second to Virginia Tech with Steve Ratay and Ryan Marshall (So., Marco Island, Fla.) taking All-BIG EAST honors as Ratay finished second and Marshall sixth. Virginia Tech’s Johnson Wagner was the individual medalist.
The Teams: The six-team BIG EAST Championship will feature Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Georgetown, St. John’s, Rutgers and Seton Hall, seeded one through six. The six teams were selected by the BIG EAST Men’s Golf Selection & Seeding Committee to compete in the championship. The committee uses criteria such as head-to-head results, stroke differential, overall won-loss record, strength of schedule, results vs. common opponents and NCAA/Golfstat rating indexes to select the six participating teams.
Dates and Times: The 54-hole BIG EAST Championship will play the first 36 holes on Monday, April 21st with scheduled tee times beginning at 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Tuesday’s final round will also start with scheduled tee times beginning at 8:00 a.m. The men will start on the first tee for all three rounds.
Irish Lineup: Coach John Jasinski expects to use his lineup that features one senior and four freshmen as he has most of the season. Leading the group is team captain, Brandon Lunke (Sr., San Antonio, Texas), who will be joined by freshmen Mark Baldwin (Laconia, N.H.), Eric Deutsch (Rochester, Minn.), Scott Gustafson (Eden Praire, Minn.) and Tommy Balderston (Boca Raton, Fla.).
Last Tournament: The Irish tied for 13th in the 18-team Kepler Invitational at Ohio State last weeked with a 936 total (307-318-311). Brandon Lunke and Mark Baldwin were Notre Dame’s top finishers as they finished in a tie for 30th with 14-over par totals of 230. Lunke shot 75-77-78 for his 230 while Baldwing had rounds of 75, 80 and 75. Scott Gustafson tied for 60th with a 236 (79-81-76) while K.C. Wiseman (So., South Bend, Ind.) finished in a tie for 78th with a 241 and Gavin Ferlic (Jr., South Bend, Ind.) was 84th with a 243 total for the weekend.
Irish Leaders: Freshman Scott Gustafson leads the Irish with a 75.17 average over 29 rounds of play. The next four golfers are separated by just .35 strokes. Brandon Lunke is second with a 75.61 average in 23 rounds. Mark Baldwin follows him with a 75.65 average in 26 rounds, Eric Deutsch is fourth with a 75.92 mark in 26 rounds and Tommy Balderston rounds out the top five with a 75.96 average in the 23 rounds he’s played this season.
Tournament Results: Results will be available on the Notre Dame website at und.com after 10:00 p.m. on each day of tournament play. Livestat results will also be available throughout the day at Golfstat.com.
Next For The Irish: The Irish men’s golf team closes out the regular season on April 26-27 when they play at the Bruce Fossum/TaylorMade Invitational at Michigan State. Play on Saturday will begin at 8:30 p.m. (EDT).