Freshman Thomas Steve will make his second career spring start this weekend at the Talis Park Challenge

Irish Return To Talis Park Challenge In Sunshine State

March 14, 2015


The Talis Park Challenge, hosted by Ball State University, March 15-16, Talis Park Golf Club, Naples, Florida.

The Talis Park Golf Club was designed by famed golf course architect Pete Dye and two-time major champion Greg Norman, and opened in 2005. The par 72, 6,891-yard layout has been ranked by Golf Digest as one of the top 20 courses in the state of Florida. Notre Dame finished in fifth place at last season’s inaugural Talis Park Challenge at 908 (299-295-314).

The 54-hole stroke play tournament will be contested over two days, and begins with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. (ET) on Sunday. The second round is scheduled to start immediately following the conclusion of round one. The third and final round will get under way with a shotgun start on Monday at 8:30 a.m.

A total of 15 teams will tee it up this week at the Talis Park Challenge. Joining Notre Dame and host Ball State are Akron, Eastern Michigan, Florida Gulf Coast, Indiana, LSU, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, NIU, Texas A&M, Toledo, Vanderbilt, Wichita State and Xavier.

Representing Notre Dame in the starting five will be sophomore Matthew Rushton, junior Cory Sciupider, sophomore Blake Barens, sophomore Liam Cox and freshman Thomas Steve.

Results will be posted on the UND Athletic Department Web site ( at the conclusion of each round. Live stats every three to six holes will be available at

Notre Dame will close its 2015 regular season schedule at the Mason Rudolph Invitational on April 3-4 at the Legends Club in Nashville, Tennessee.

NAPLES, Fla. – For the second straight season, the University of Notre Dame men’s golf team goes coast-to-coast to close its Spring Break tournament schedule. The Irish return to Naples to compete in the Talis Park Challenge, hosted by Ball State University, on Sunday and Monday at the Talis Park Golf Club.

The first round is scheduled to begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, with the second round continuing after the completion of the opening 18. The third and final round will kick off with a shotgun start on Monday at 8:30 a.m.

“We’re looking forward to our return to Talis Park,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “We had some success there last year, heading to the final round in second place. Four of our starting five this week have played there, whether in practice or competition. It’s a good test, fair if the wind stays down and somewhat sinister if the wind is up. We must control those left and right shots if the wind blows.”

Junior Cory Sciupider and sophomore Blake Barens return to the Notre Dame lineup at the Talis Park Challenge for the second straight season after aiding the Irish to a fifth place result at the 2014 edition of the tournament. Sciupider and Barens join sophomores Matthew Rushton and Liam Cox, and freshman Thomas Steve as the Notre Dame starting five this weekend.

“Our five has a very good vibe right now, even without the top finishes they’ll eventually achieve,” Kubinski said. “Just five highly motivated guys. Even without a senior playing, I’m seeing leadership signs from this group. I’m excited to watch these guys grow.”

Sciupider is the top returning finisher for Notre Dame from the 2014 Talis Park Challenge, tying for 39th place with a final score of 233. Barens ultimately shared 61st place with a 244 total.

After playing in a West Coast heavy field last weekend at the Lamkin San Diego Classic, Notre Dame will see a number of familiar teams at Talis Park. Regional foes Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Michigan State and Toledo are among the opponents awaiting the Irish in the 15-team field.

“We were the only snow belt team last week, so having a mix of teams here is a better test at this point,” Kubinski said. “I anticipate improvement each week for us. We saw that with Blake’s career-low round last week (third round 71) when the field average was over 76. Cory improved each round in his first spring competition, which was fun to see. Matt was in fourth overall through 28 holes before hitting a rough patch but finished up strong, which was a nice confidence boost.

“We’ll look for those three to be a foundation this week and expect Thomas to feel better in his second tournament out now, with Liam as a breakout candidate any week,” Kubinski added.

Live results from all three rounds of the Talis Park Challenge will be available via