April 3, 2005
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Upon taking over as the head men’s golf coach at Notre Dame, Jim Kubinski clearly stated his goal of making the Irish a contender at the national level. After this weekend’s performance at the Augusta State Invitational, Kubinski’s goal certainly appears to be taking shape.
Notre Dame took another step in its rapid return to national prominence with an impressive seventh-place finish at the 18-team Augusta State Invitational, presented by Administaff, which concluded Sunday at the Forest Hills Golf Club (par 72/7,231 yards) in Augusta, Ga. The Irish defeated five Top 25 teams and tied a sixth this weekend, fighting through windy weather conditions that pushed back the start of Saturday’s second round, causing teams to play 36 holes on the final day. Notre Dame wound up carding a 61-over par 925 (310-310-305) to place 29 strokes behind tournament champion and host, Augusta State (ranked 17th nationally).
Among the Top 25 teams (according to the March 25 GCAA/Bridgestone Coaches Poll) that Notre Dame conquered this weekend, No. 8 Wake Forest was the highest ranked, but the Demon Deacons ended up in 16th place at 954, 29 shots behind the Irish. No. 10 Southern California was two strokes back of Notre Dame in eighth place at 927, while 14th-ranked Duke (Kubinski’s previous employer from 2003-04) tied for 10th place at 934, nine shots behind the Irish. No. 19 Clemson was 12th overall at 937 (12 strokes behind Notre Dame), and No. 20 South Carolina was ninth at 931, trailing the Irish by six shots.
Sophomore Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian HS) was the top individual finisher for Notre Dame, tying for 14th place at 12-over par 228 (76-75-77). It is Isban’s second top-15 finish of the spring and fourth of the season in nine tournaments. Isban wound up 11 shots behind tournament medalist Chris Kirk of Georgia (217, +1).
Junior Mark Baldwin (Laconia, N.H./New Hampton Prep) was next up for the Irish, earning a 25th-place tie at 17-over par 233 (78-75-80). Baldwin has now finished in the top 25 of his last five tournaments, including all four spring events to date.
Junior Scott Gustafson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie HS) showed flashes of the form that made him an all-BIG EAST Conference pick in 2003 and has ranked him among the top 10 golfers in school history. Gustafson surged into a tie for 38th place at 19-over par 235 (82-81-72) — in the final round, he got as low as three-under par with four holes remaining before a double bogey and bogey dropped back to level ground. Still, it was Gustafson’s lowest round of the spring (and tied his second-lowest of the year).
Sophomore Shane Sigsbee (McKinney, Texas/McKinney HS) and freshman Greg Rodgers (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul’s School) ended up among a group tied for 43rd place at 20-over par 236. Sigsbee shot rounds of 76-81-79, while Rodgers had scores of 80-79-77.
Notre Dame will return to the links April 16-17 when it travels to Bryan, Texas for the Texas A&M Invitational. It will be the final tune-up for the Irish before the BIG EAST Championship, which is scheduled to take place April 23-24 at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course.
— ND —
2005 AUGUSTA STATE INVITATIONAL, PRESENTED BY ADMINISTAFF
April 2-3, 2005
Forest Hills Golf Club (par 72/7,231 yards)
1. Augusta State 896 (304-302-290); 2. Georgia 897 (308-297-292); 3. Georgia Southern 911 (305-308-298); 4. (tie) Alabama 925 (311-313-298), Minnesota 922 (320-296-306) and East Tennessee State 922 (303-308-311); 7. NOTRE DAME 925 (310-310-305); 8. Southern California 927 (316-306-305); 9. South Carolina 931 (314-309-308); 10. (tie) UCF 934 (315-316-303) and Duke 934 (316-312-306); 12. Clemson 937 (329-304-304); 13. North Carolina 938 (317-305-316); 14. Virginia Tech 939 (322-313-304); 15. North Florida 941 (314-311-316); 16. Wake Forest 954 (318-319-317); 17. Toledo 958 (318-317-323); 18. North Carolina State 965 (320-321-324).
INDIVIDUAL SCORES (top four plus Notre Dame finishers)
1. Chris Kirk (Georgia) 217 (72-75-70); 2. Scott Jamieson (Augusta State) 220 (72-74-74); 3. (tie) Rhys Davies (East Tennessee State) 222 (70-78-74) and Brendon Todd (Georgia) 222 (75-75-72); 14. (tie) Cole Isban (Notre Dame) 228 (76-75-77); 25. (tie) Mark Baldwin (Notre Dame) 233 (78-75-80); 38. (tie) Scott Gustafson (Notre Dame) 235 (82-81-72); 43. (tie) Shane Sigsbee (Notre Dame) 236 (76-81-79) and Greg Rodgers (Notre Dame) 236 (80-79-77).