Sept. 17, 2002
Toledo, Ohio – The Notre Dame men’s golf team closed out the final 18 holes at the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational with a 314 total to finish the 54-hole season-opening tournament in 14th-place with a 924 mark after a pair of 305 totals in Monday’s two rounds. The Irish finished 46 strokes behind tournament champion – Florida as the Gators shot rounds of 288, 303 and 287 for a 26-over par 878 at the famed Inverness Country Club.
Florida started the day one stroke behind Michigan State, but fired a three-over par 287 in the final round on the par 71, 7,255-yard course. The Spartans, who opened with rounds of 291-299, tied for third after a final round 222 for a 54-hole total of 899. Oklahoma State rallied to finish second, nine strokes behind Florida with an 887 (306-294-287) to finish two strokes ahead of Michigan State and Kansas State 899 (304-294-291). The host team, the University of Toledo, rounded out the top five in the 15-team field with a 39-over par total of 891 (297-301-293).
Individually, the second annual Inverness Intercollegiate was won by Fresno State’s Nick Watney who won in a tiebreaker over Florida’s Camilo Villegas. Both golfers finished with two-over par totals of 215. Watney had a three-stroke lead over Villegas going into the final round but closed with a 74 while Villegas fired a 71. Watney was awarded medalist honors as his score over the final nine holes was one better than Villegas.
Oklahoma State’s Alex Noren (74-69-74) tied for third along with Illinois’ James Lepp (72-77-68) and Northwestern’s Tom Johnson (76-70-71) to round out the top five with four-over par 217. Noren started the final 18, just two strokes behind Watney while Lepp was tied for 16th and Johnson was tied for fifth. Lepp’s final round of three-under par 68 was the low round of the tournament.
For the Irish, the team’s top finisher was freshman Eric Deutsch (Rochester, Minn.) who tied for 22nd with a 54-hole total of 12-over par 225. Deutsch was tied for fifth after 36 holes after a pair of 73’s on Monday, but shot a 79 for his final 18 to fall to 22nd.
Following Deutsch in a tie for 45th were Scott Gustafson (Fr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) and K.C. Wiseman (So., South Bend, Ind.) with 231 totals. Gustafson shot a final round 77 after opening with 74-80 for the opening 36 holes. Wiseman also had a 77 on Tuesday after firing 78-76 on Monday. William McGaughan (Jr., Key Biscayne, Fla.) tied for 64th with a 237 as he shot 80-76-81 and Tom Balderston (Fr., Boca Raton, Fla.) was 75th with a 249 after rounds of 82-83-84.
The Irish return to action on Monday, Sept., 23 when they travel to Lawrence, Kan., to participate in the 54-hole Kansas Invitational.
TEAM RESULTS (54 holes): 1. Florida 288-303-287-878; 2. Oklahoma State 306-294-287-887; t3. Michigan State 291-299-299-889; Kansas State 304-294-291-889; 5. Toledo 297-301-293-891; 6. Georgia 300-294-299-893; 7. Fresno State 291-300-305-896; 8. Illinois 307-302-292-901; 9. Northwestern 306-300-300-906; 10. Kansas 304-307-298-909; 11. Long Beach State 309-302-299-910; 12. Kent State 302-295-315-912; 13. Kentucky 312-304-302-918; 14. Notre Dame 305-305-314-924; 15. Alabama-Birmingham 314-311-317-942.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 75): 1. Nick Watney (Fresno State) 71-70-74-215; 2. Camilo Villegas (Florida) 71-73-71-215; t3. Alex Noren (Oklahoma State) 74-69-74-217; Tom Johnson (Northwestern) 76-70-71-217; James Lepp (Illinois) 72-77-68-217; 6. Kevin Kisner (Georgia) 75-69-74-218; 7. Greg Douglas (Kansas State) 74-74-71-219; t8. David Jones (Toledo) 74-72-74-220; Brad Heaven (Toledo) 72-79-69-220; Brett Stegmaier (Florida) 70-79-71-220.
NOTRE DAME PLAYERS (of 75): t22. Eric Deutsch 73-73-79-225; t45. Scott Gustafson 74-80-77-231; K.C. Wiseman 78-76-77-231; t64. William McCaughan 80-76-81-237; 75. Tommy Balderston 82-83-84-249.