March 13, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team begins its busiest weekend of the season on Thursday, March 14 when the start play in the 54-hole Treasure Cove Classic at the PGA Country Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. After playing there on March 14-15, the Irish head to Ocala, Fla., on Sat.-Sun., March 16-17 to participate in the El Diablo Intercollegiate Invitational at the El Diablo Golf and Country Club.
This will be the first action for the Irish since finishing 11th at the Ron Smith Invitational at the University of South Florida on Feb. 22nd.
Coach John Jasinski and his entire squad have spent the entire spring break working on their games this past week in preparation for the two 54-hole tournaments (36 holes the first day, 18 the second) and then the following weeks when they begin play in the North.
Both tournaments are important since they not only feature teams from the South but also include many of the teams the Irish compete against in their district.
Last season, Notre Dame played in the El Diablo Intercollegiate to start the spring schedule and finished 18th in the 24-team field. Alex Kent, who graduated last May, and Steve Ratay (Sr., Arlington Heights, Ill.) were the team’s top-finishers as they tied for 32nd with four-over par totals of 148.
Ratay again leads the Irish men’s golf team. For the year, he has a 73.00 average with all 12 rounds he’s played counting to team scoring. He shot a six-over par 148 to finish in a tie for 20th at the Ron Smith Invitational in February.
Also playing in that tournament were senior Chris Whitten (Rockford, Mich.), junior Brandon Lunke (San Antonio, Texas) and two freshmen, Ryan Marshall (Marco Island, Fla.) and Steve Colnitis (Baldwin, Md.).
Whitten turned in the best finish of his career as he tied for 30th with an eight-over par 150 on rounds of 76 and 74. For the season, Whitten has a 76.55 average.
Lunke struggled at the Ron Smith Invitational with a pair of 85’s and is third this season with a 76.33 average in four tournaments.
Marshall and Colnitis have each played in four tournaments this season and been very consistent. Marshall is second to Ratay with a 75.77 average and Colnitis is fourth with a 76.50. They were 51st and 60th respectively at the first tournament of the spring in Tampa two weeks ago.