March 16, 2003
Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Auburn shot a five-over par total of 857 (284-286-287) to win the tournament by eight strokes over second-place Alabama, which shot a 54-hole total of 865 (287-292-286). Two strokes behind tournament-host Alabama was Southeastern Louisiana. The Lions fired the best final-round score on Sunday with an even-par 284, giving them a final total of 867 (290-293-284). Kentucky finished in fourth with an 18-over par 870 (287-291-292) and Illinois was in fifth place with a 874 (292-291-291).
Individually, Notre Dame was paced by freshman Scott Gustafson (Eden Praire, Minn.) who tied for 36th with an 11-over par total of 224. Gustafson followed first- and second-round scores of 72 and 77, respectively, with a final-round total of four-over par 75. Gustafson finished 13 strokes behind the tournament medalist – James Lepp of Illinois – who finished with a two-under par 211 (73-68-70).
Lepp came from three strokes behind Auburn’s Jay Mundy after 36 holes to win the tournament by one stroke. Mundy finished in a three-way tie for second place with a 212 (70-68-74). Tied with Mundy was teammate Will Claxton (72-71-69-212) and Patrick Nagle of Illinois (70-71-71-212). Following the second-place threesome in a tie for fifth were two golfers with an even-par score of 213, Southeastern Louisiana’s Steven Tiley (71-69-73) and John Holmes of Kentucky (72-72-69).
Following Gustafson for the Irish was classmate Tommy Balderston (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Mark Baldwin (Fr., Laconia, N.H.). Balderston finished tied for 45th after firing a final-round score of four-over par 75 to finish with a 226 (74-77-75). Baldwin finished three strokes behind Balderston after shooting rounds of 74, 78 and 77 for a total of 16-over par 229.
Senior Brandon Lunke (San Antonio, Texas) in 64th place after shooting a pair of 77s in the final two rounds for a total of 235 (81-77-77). The other Irish golfer in the field of 70 was Eric Deutsch (Fr., Rochester, Minn.) who shot a final round of 75 to finish with a 240 (84-81-75).
Notre Dame returns to action March 29-30 at the Johnny Owens Invitational. The 54-hole tournament will be played at the University of Kentucky Golf Club in Lexington, Kentucky. Two rounds will be played on Saturday and the final 18 holes will be played on Sunday. The tournament will begin at 8:00 a.m. each day.
FINAL TEAM RESULTS (54 holes): 1. Auburn 284-286-287-857; 2. Alabama 287-292-286-865; 3. Southeastern Louisiana 290-293-284-867; 4. Kentucky 287-291-292-870; 5. Illinois 292-291-291-874; 6. Toledo 294-290-295-879; 7. Michigan State 302-290-288-880; 8. Mississippi 299-297-293-889; 9. Alabama-Birmingham 293-300-298-891; 10. Purdue 294-310-291-895; 11. Louisiana State 298-305-299-902; 12. Notre Dame 301-309-302-912; 13. Mississippi State 309-319-292-920.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 70): 1. James Lepp (Illinois) 73-68-70-211; t2. Jay Mundy (Auburn) 70-68-74-212; Will Claxton (Auburn) 72-71-69-212; Patrick Nagle (Illinois) 70-71-71-212; t5. Steve Tiley (Southeastern Louisiana) 71-69-73-213; John Holmes (Kentucky) 72-72-69-213; 7. Sean McTernan (Toledo) 69-73-72-214; t8. Brett Bergeron (Southeastern Louisiana) 71-74-70-215; Tyler McKeever 72-72-71-215; t10. Lars Brovold (Alabama) 69-77-71-217; Mark O’Sullivan (Southeastern Louisiana) 71-72-74-217; Brandon Waldrop (Kentucky) 72-73-72-217.
NOTRE DAME PLAYERS (of 70): t36. Scott Gustafson 72-77-75-224; t45. Tommy Balderston 74-77-75-226; t54. Mark Baldwin 74-78-77-229; 64. Brandon Lunke 81-77-77-235; 67. Eric Deutsch 84-81-75-240.
— ND —