Sept. 15, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team opens a new season at the site of the program’s greatest moment as the Irish travel to Toledo, Ohio to participate in the second annual Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational at the Inverness Club on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 16-17. The Irish won the 1944 NCAA Championship at the Inverness Club, the only national title for the men’s golf program in its 73-year history.
Notre Dame head coach John Jasinski is no stranger to this tournament as he served as the head coach at the University of Toledo for the first tournament in September of 2000. Last year’s tournament was cancelled due to the terrorist attacks of September 11. The University of South Carolina won the first Inverness Intercollegiate while Michigan’s Scott Hayes won the individual crown.
The Inverness Club was founded in 1903 and has hosted four U.S. Opens, one U.S. Amateur, two PGA Championships and will host the 2003 U.S. Senior Open.
The 14-team tournament will feature some of the top men’s golf programs in the nation. Joining the Irish are the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, Fresno State, Illinois, Kansas, Kansas State, Kent State, Kentucky, Long Beach State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Oklahoma State and the host University of Toledo.
The Irish will go into the new season looking for someone to replace Steve Ratay, one of the top golfers in the program’s history. Last season, Ratay set Notre Dame’s single-season scoring record with a 73.03 average and for his career just missed the career average mark by .03 with a 74.46 mark.
Jasinski’s opening lineup with feature three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior in his second season with the team. Playing in the No. 1 spot will be Scott Gustafson (Eden Prairie, Minn.) who comes to the Irish after a stellar career at Eden Prairie High School where he won the Minnesota State AA Championship last spring, setting a tournament scoring record along the way. In the No. 2 spot will be fellow freshman Tommy Balderston (Boca Raton, Fla.) who played his high school golf at St. Andrew’s High School where he finished sixth in the State of Florida in Nov. of 2001.
The third spot in the lineup will be filled by Bill McGaughan (Jr., Key Biscayne, Fla.) who worked his way into the Irish lineup last season and turned in a 78.00 average in three tournaments including a 10th-place finish at the BIG EAST Championship.
Freshman Eric Deutsch (Rochester, Minn.) will play at the fourth spot for Notre Dame after winning the Minnesota State A Championship while at Lourdes High School.
Rounding out the Irish five in Toledo is sophomore K.C. Wiseman (South Bend, Ind.) who played in seven of the team’s 12 tournament’s last season. He finished third in average on the team with a 76.90 average. His best finish came at the Treasure Cove Classic last March with a seven-over par 151 total.
Following the Inverness Intercollegiate, the Irish men’s golf team will next be in action on Sept. 23-24 when they travel to Lawrence, Kan., to participate in the 2002 Kansas Invitational.