Oct. 27, 2002
Stanford, Calif. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team closed out the fall portion of the 2002-03 schedule on Sunday afternoon by finishing 12th in the 18-team field at the Nelson Invitational. The Irish shot a final round 12-over par 296 to finish 25-over par with an 877 (285-296-296). The 54-hole tournament was played on the par 72, 6,786-yard Stanford Golf Club at Stanford University.
The Irish finished 36 strokes behind team champion Duke as the Blue Devils finished with an 11-under par 841, including a final round 276. That gave them a seven-stroke win over the University of Washington as the Huskies moved from sixth to second with a final round 271 for a three-round total of four-under par 848.
Georgia Tech was third with an even par 852 (283-282-287). Colorado State finished fourth with an 854 (281-290-283) and North Carolina State and Kansas rounded out the top five spots as each school fired an 859 for the weekend.
The individual title went to Duke’s Leif Olson who fired a final round six-under par 65 for a 54-hole total of 12-under par 201 (70-66-65). That gave him a one-stroke victory over Washington’s Brock Mackenzie, North Carolina State’s Justin Walters and Georgia Tech’s Nicholas Thompson as all three golfers tied for second at 11-under par 202. Mackenzie started the day in fourth-place while Walters started the day tied with Olson for second-place. Thompson was the second round leader. Mackenzie fired a final round 65, Walters a 66 and Thompson a 67 for their 202 totals.
Martin Laird of Colorado State rounded out the top five golfers with a six-under par 207. In all 18 golfers finished at even par or better.
Notre Dame’s squad was led by freshman Mark Baldwin (Laconia, N.H.) who was among the top five through two rounds of play. On Sunday, Baldwin fired a one-over par 72 to give him a 54-hole total of two-under par 211. That’s the best 54-hole mark of Baldwin’s career and is the lowest score of any Irish golfer this season. Only three other Notre Dame golfers have ever shot three round totals less than 211. Jeff O’Connell ’00 shot a 209 (-4) at the Marshall Invitational during the 1997-98 season. Alex Kent ’01 fired a six-under par 210 at the Legends of Indiana Intercollegiate in 2000 and Steve Ratay had a three-under par 210 at the Xavier Provident Invitational in 2001.
Following Baldwin in the Irish lineup was senior Brandon Lunke (San Antonio, Texas) who tied for 35th with a 219 (73-71-75). Tommy Balderston (Fr., Boca Raton, Fla.) was third among Irish golfers and tied for 52nd with a 223 (71-78-74). Ryan Marshall (So., Marco Island, Fla.), who played in the tournament as an individual participant, tied for 68th with a 226 (74-72-80). Scott Gustafson (Fr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) closed the fall with a 227 (74-78-75) to finish tied for 72nd and Eric Deutsch (Fr., Rochester, Minn.) tied for 87th with his 233 (75-75-83).
FINAL TEAM RESULTS (54 holes): 1. Duke 278-287-276-841; 2. Washington 274-303-271-848; 3. Georgia Tech 283-282-287-852; 4. Colorado State 281-290-283-854; t5. North Carolina State 293-279-287-859; Kansas 288-287-284-859; t7. Stanford 285-293-284-862; Northwestern 289-293-280-862; 9. Toledo 291-287-290-868; 10. Oregon State 292-292-285-869; 11. Miami (OH) 292-288-290-870; 12. Notre Dame 285-296-296-877; t13. Colorado 294-291-293-878; Missouri 292-296-290-878; 15. Texas Tech 296-296-287-879; 16. Florida Southern 296-298-287-881; 17. Idaho 304-297-297-898; 18. Hawaii-Hilo 308-299-308-915.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 96): 1. Leif Olson (Duke) 70-66-65-201; t2. Nicholas Thompson (Georgia Tech) 66-69-67-202; Justin Walters (North Carolina State) 70-66-66-202; Brock Mackenzie (Washington) 67-70-65-202; 5. Martin Laird (Colorado State) 65-77-65-207; t6. Tyler Hall (Kansas) 69-70-69-208; Jim Seki (Stanford) 70-70-68-208; t8. Chris Marshall (Kansas) 69-70-139; Brad Heaven (Toledo) 73-67-140; 10. Ryan Blaum (Stanford) 70-74-66-210.
NOTRE DAME PLAYERS (of 96): t11. Mark Baldwin 67-72-72-211; t35. Brandon Lunke 73-71-75-219; t52. Tommy Balderston 71-78-74-223; t68. Ryan Marshall 74-72-80-226; t72. Scott Gustafson 74-78-75-227; t87. Eric Deutsch 75-75-83-233.