March 24, 2002
Pottsboro, Texas – The Notre Dame men’s golf team fired its best round of the weekend with a 16-over par 304 to but still dropped one spot in the final standings to finish seventh in the 13-team field at the Pepsi-Cola Invitational Sunday afternoon.
The Irish, who entered the day in sixth place, finished the 54-hole tournament with a 53-over par total of 917. Notre Dame was passed in the final round by Wichita State as the Shockers fired a final round of 297 to finish four strokes ahead of the Irish with a 913 total (311-305-297) at the par 72, 6,993 Tanglewood Resort Golf Course.
For the weekend, the Irish finished 44 strokes behind tournament champion Michigan State as the Spartans led from start to finish with a nine-over par total of 873 (295-291-287). Minnesota and Illinois tied for second with 896 totals to finish 23 strokes behind Michigan State. The Gophers posted rounds of 295-303-298 for an 896 while the Illini had rounds of 303-299-294. Rollins College was fourth with an 897 (297-298-302) and Penn State rounded out the top five with a 904 (303-305-296).
Individually, the Irish had two golfers – Steve Ratay (Sr., Arlington Heights, Ill.) and K.C. Wiseman (Fr., South Bend, Ind.) – finish among the top 20 for the weekend as Ratay tied for 13th while Wiseman tied for 20th in the 74-player field.
Ratay fired a final round of even-par 72 to give him a 54-hole total of seven-over par 223 (74-77-72). That put him 11 strokes behind tournament medalist Eric Jorgenson of Michigan State who fired a final round four-under par 68 to move from a stroke behind to a three-stroke win over Rollins College’s Alex Smith. Jorgenson had a four-under par 212 (74-70-68) for the weekend while Smith had rounds of 73, 72 and 70 for his one-under par 215.
Rounding out the top five finishers were Simon Nash of Minnesota who finished third with a 217 (71-73-73). Derek Lamely of Florida Golf Coast and Wilhelm Schauman of Minnesota (the second-round leader) tied for fourth with 218 totals.
Wiseman closed out the final round on Sunday for the Irish with a five-over par 77 to give him a three-round total of 227 (75-75-77), the best 54-hole total of his Irish career.
Fellow freshman Steve Colnitis (Fr., Baldwin, Md.) tied for 27th in the tournament with a 231 (77-76-78). Brandon Lunke (Jr., San Antonio, Texas) tied for 46th on the weekend with rounds of 80, 79 and 77 for a 236 total to follow Colnitis for the Irish. Chris Whitten (Sr., Rockford, Mich.) was Notre Dame’s fifth golfer and he finished 68th on the weekend with a 246 mark (82-81-83).
The Irish will return to action next Friday and Saturday, March 29-30 when they play at the Johnny Owens Invitational in Lexington, Ky.
FINAL TEAM RESULTS (54 holes): 1. Michigan State 295-291-287-873, t2. Minnesota 295-303-298-896, Illinois 303-299-294-896, 4. Rollins College 297-298-302-897, 5. Penn State 303-305-296-904, 6. Wichita State 311-305-297-913, 7. Notre Dame 306-307-304-917, 8. Iowa 312-306-306-924, 9. Florida Gulf Coast 312-311-302-925, 10. Bowling Green 310-306-311-927, 11. Princeton 313-307-313-933, 12. DePaul 312-315-308-935, 13. Northern Illinois 319-316-313-948.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 74): 1. Eric Jorgenson (Michigan State) 74-70-68-212, 2. Alex Smith (Rollins) 73-72-70-215, 3. Simon Nash (Minnesota) 71-73-73-217, t4. Wilhelm Schauman (Minnesota) 71-72-75-218, Derek Lamely (Florida Gulf Coast) 75-73-70-218, 6. Andy Latowski (Penn State) 76-73-70-219, Geoff Lound (Illinois) 72-72-75-219, James Lepp (Illinois) 76-74-69-219, Geoff Lound (Illinois) 72-72-144, J.J. Beckstrom (Michigan State) 73-72-74-219, 10. Nathan Clark (Michigan State) 73-74-73-220, Joe Affrunti (Minnesota) 77-71-72-220.
NOTRE DAME PLAYERS (of 74): t13. Steve Ratay 74-77-72-223, t20. K.C. Wiseman 75-75-77-227, t27. Steve Colnitis 77-76-78-231, t46. Brandon Lunke 80-79-77-236, 68. Chris Whitten 82-81-83-246.