April 28, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame will welcome the BIG EAST Men’s Golf Championship to the Warren Golf Course this weekend, marking the first formal event to be played on the highly-touted course-which is located near the northeast corner of the Notre Dame campus.
The two-round tournament includes 18 holes of action on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30. Nine teams will compete for the automatic berth in the NCAA Championship that goes to the winner of the BIG EAST tournament-marking the first time in BIG EAST history that the league will receive an automatic NCAA bid.
Each team will compete with the customary five players, with scoring based on each team’s top-four finishers per round (each team’s high score is thrown out).
Notre Dame will tee off with the final group of threesome, alongside defending champion Georgetown and St. John’s-with start times ranging from 10:40 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. The day’s first group-consisting of Boston College, Villanova and Providence-will tee off from 9:00-9:40, followed in 10-minute intervals by players from Seton Hall-Connecticut and Rutgers.
GEORGETOWN returns the defending BIG EAST individual champion Andreas Huber, who shot a 141 at TPC Avenel in the 1998-99 championship.-equaling the tournament record set the previous year by current Notre Dame senior Todd Vernon. Other top performers for the Hoyas include senior Greg Koush-who placed seventh at last year’s BIG EAST Tournament-while sophomore Tristan Lewis led GU this season at the William & Invitational (71, 5th) and the Navy Invitational (77, 24th).
Notre Dame will look to claim its fourth BIG EAST team title in five tries, after tying for second at the ’98-’99 championship. The Irish won three tournaments in the fall and are led by a trio of talented golfers. Senior captain Todd Vernon-who won the ’97-’98 BIG EAST title at South Bend’s Blackthorn Golf Club (141)-owns a team-leading 74.15 season stroke average and ranks fifth all-time on the Irish career scoring average list (75.48). Vernon owns six top-20 finishes in 1999-2000, including third at the Air Force Invitational and fourth at the Kentucky Invitational. Fellow senior Jeff Connell owns a 75.44 season average and ranks sixth in Irish history with a 75.82 career average, with his best outings this season including a fifth-place finish at the Treasure Coast Classic. Sophomore Steve Ratay owns a 74.62 season stroke average, thanks to a strong fall that included a first-place finish at The Legends of Indiana Intercollegiate and a runner-up showing at the Louisville Intercollegiate.
With a roster that includes three players who qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, St. John’s looks to make an impact after tying the Irish for second at the ’98-’99 BIG EAST Championship. The Red Storm is led by Andrew Svoboda, who led St. John’s to the team title at the Embry Riddle Classic with a runner-up 143. SJU other top performer include Andrew McKay and Mike Matthews, who tied for fifth at the 1998 BIG EAST Championship.
After finishing the ’98-`99 championship in fourth place, Seton Hall returns three of its top five for a run at the title. The Pirates are led by co-captain Eugene Smith, who finished seventh in last year’s BIG EAST Championship before posting a top-50 finish at the NCAA East Regional. Smith leads the Pirates in 2000 with a 73.6 scoring average and three top-10 finishes in the first five spring events. SHU co-captain Scott Hawley will look to reprise his third-place BIG EAST finish from `98.
Connecticut follows the lead of senior Greg Stebbins, who took first at the Big Five Invitational with a 71 and second at the Yale Invitational with a 73. Also back for the Huskies is sophomore Sean Vigue, the team’s top finisher (11th) in the ’98-’99 BIG EAST Championship.
With no seniors on the roster, Rutgers features a young team led by a talented quartet of juniors. Ryan McDonald finished 11th in the BIG EAST as a sophomore while Daniel Horner also is an experienced championship participant, with a 17th-place finish in the ’98-’99 BIG EAST Championship.
Boston College returns three golfers from a team that finished seventh in ’98-’99. Sophomore Rich Tilghman has been strong in the spring, with a third-place finish at the Massachusetts Intercollegiate Championship, leading the eagles to a second-place showing.
A pair of seniors provide the strength for Villanova in 2000. Dugan Condon is riding a hot streak heading into the championship, after winning the individual title at the 27-team George Washington Invitational with a three-over 147. Fellow senior Peter Dlugosch provides solid experience and finished 13th at the ’98-’99 championship.
Providence returns a solid nucleus of experienced players for the 2000 championship. Junior Ben Bridgeo leads the charge for a Friars squad that has finished in the top five in four tournaments this season, including second out of 27 teams at the George Washington Invitational. Bridgeo has three top-10 finishes to his credit in 1999-2000.
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
The BIG EAST has sponsored a men’s golf championship since the inception of the conference in 1979 … St. John’s has captured nine BIG EAST men’s golf title while Notre Dame has won three of the last four … SJU holds the record for the most consecutive titles (4, ’81-’84, ’86-`89) … Providence and St. John’s both have produced six individual champions … Pat Fogarty (SJU) is the only player to win the league title more than once, winning three titles from 1982-84 … Matt Zito (PC) holds the tournament record for lowest 18-hole score, with his 1979 performance (two-under 70) … the BIG EAST Golf Championship has been held at seven sites prior to 2000: 1979 – Willimantic CC in Willimantic, Conn., 1980 – Agawam Hunt CC in East Providence, R.I., 1981 – Colonie Hill CC in Hauppauge, N.Y., 1982-84 – Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, N.Y., 1985-86 – Fredricksburg, Va., 1997 – Blackthorn Golf Club, South Bend, Ind., 1987-96, 1998 – The Tournament Player’s Club in Avenel, Md. … the BIG EAST title has been captured by six schools other than St. John’s: Providence in 1980 and 1993, Villanova in 1985 and 1990, Miami in 1991, Seton Hall in 1992, Connecticut in 1994, and Notre Dame in 1995, ’96 and ’97.
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP RECORDS
Lowest 36-Hole Scores
Team: 584 (Connecticut, 1994, Brian Ahern, Greg Yeomans, Peter Sagnella, Greg Metro, Matt Kohut)
Individual: 141 (-3, Todd Vernon, Notre Dame, 1997-98) … 141 (-1, Andreas Huber, Georgetown, 1998-99) … 142 (-2, Matt Zito, Providence, 1979-80)
Lowest Single-Round Score
Team: 289 (+1, Notre Dame, 1995-96, Brad Hardin, Brian Donohoe, Joel Hepler, Bryan Weeks, Doug Diemer)
69 (-2, Andreas Huber, Georgetown, 1998-99) … 69 (-2, Brian Ahern, Connecticut, 1994-95) 70 (-2, Matt Zito, Providence, 1979-80) … 70 (-2, Mike Diffley, St. John’s, 1981) 70 (-2, Brian Donohoe, Notre Damem, 1996-97) … 70 (-2, Brad Hardin, Notre Dame, 1996-97) 70 (-2, Mike Costigan, Seton Hall, 1996-97) … 70 (-2, Todd Vernon, Notre Dame, 1997-98)
1998 RESULTS (held at TPC Avenel in Bethesda, Md.)
|2. Notre Dame||312||305||617|
|4. Seton Hall||308||314||622|
|7. Boston College||326||324||650|
|1. Andreas Huber, GU||69||72||141|
|2. Willie Kent, ND||78||70||148|
|3. Scott Hawley, SHU||74||77||151|
|4. Kyle Monfort, ND||75||77||152|
|5. Andrew McKay, SJU||76||77||153|
|Mike Matthews, SJU||79||74||153|
|7. Greg Koush, GU||75||80||155|
|Eugene Smith, SHU||80||75||155|
|Robert Rusche, SJU||79||76||155|
|10. Chad Ellis, VU||82||74||156|
2000 COMPOSITE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP TEE TIMES
SATURDAY, APRIL 29
|#5||Boston College, Villanova, Providence||9:00 am|
|#4||Boston College, Villanova, Providence||9:10 am|
|#3||Boston College, Villanova, Providence||9:20 am|
|#2||Boston College, Villanova, Providence||9:30 am|
|#1||Boston College, Villanova, Providence||9:40 am|
|#5||Seton Hall, Connecticut, Rutgers||9:50 am|
|#4||Seton Hall, Connecticut, Rutgers||10:00 am|
|#3||Seton Hall, Connecticut, Rutgers||10:10 am|
|#2||Seton Hall, Connecticut, Rutgers||10:20 am|
|#1||Seton Hall, Connecticut, Rutgers||10:30 am|
|#5||Georgetown, Notre Dame, St. John’s||10:40 am|
|#4||Georgetown, Notre Dame, St. John’s||10:50 am|
|#3||Georgetown, Notre Dame, St. John’s||11:00 am|
|#2||Georgetown, Notre Dame, St. John’s||11:10 am|
|#1||Georgetown, Notre Dame, St. John’s||11:20 am|
SUNDAY, APRIL 30 (based on standings after first round)
|#5||Team 7, Team 8, Team 9||8:00 am|
|#4||Team 7, Team 8, Team 9||8:10 am|
|#3||Team 7, Team 8, Team 9||8:20 am|
|#2||Team 7, Team 8, Team 9||8:30 am|
|#1||Team 7, Team 8, Team 9||8:40 am|
|#5||Team 4, Team 5, Team 6||8:50 am|
|#4||Team 4, Team 5, Team 6||9:00 am|
|#3||Team 4, Team 5, Team 6||9:10 am|
|#2||Team 4, Team 5, Team 6||9:20 am|
|#1||Team 4, Team 5, Team 6||9:30 am|
|#5||Team 1, Team 2, Team 3||9:40 am|
|#4||Team 1, Team 2, Team 3||9:50 am|
|#3||Team 1, Team 2, Team 3||10:00 am|
|#2||Team 1, Team 2, Team 3||10:10 am|
|#1||Team 1, Team 2, Team 3||10:20 am|