March 5, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team opens its spring break by traveling to Ocala, Fla., to participate in the Big Red Classic hosted by the University of Indiana and Ball State University. The 54-hole tournament will be played on Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9 at the par 72, 6,625-yard Lake Diamond Golf and Country Club with 18 teams participating. For the Irish this tournament will mark the first time they’ve been outdoors since November.
The Teams: The 17-team tournament field includes: Akron, Austin Peay, Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, IUPUI, James Madison, Kent State, Miami (OH), Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio, North Carolina-Greensboro, William & Mary, Wright State and Xavier.
Dates and Times: The Big Red Classic is a two-day, 54-hole tournament. On Satuday, March 8, the teams will play 36 holes beginning at 8:00 a.m. Sunday’s final round will also begin at 8:00 a.m.
Irish Lineup: Coach John Jasinski had decided on five of his six golfers with the sixth spot to be decided later in the week. Participating in the Big Red Classic are senior Brandon Lunke (San Antonio, Texas) and the four freshmen who saw a majority of the action in the fall – Mark Baldwin (Laconia, N.H.), Eric Deutsch (Rochester, Minn.), Scott Gustafson (Eden Praire, Minn.) and Tommy Balderston (Boca Raton, Fla.).
Last Tournament: The Notre Dame men’s team last played on Oct. 26-28 at the Nelson Invitational at Stanford. The Irish finished 12th in that tournament with a 54-hole mark of 877 (285-296-296). Mark Baldwin was the top finisher for the Irish as he finished in a tie for 11th with a two-under par 211 total. The freshman shot rounds of 67, 72 and 72 on the par 71 course. The four-under par 67 was the lowest round of the fall by any Notre Dame golfer and the third-lowest score in the program’s history.
Irish Leaders: Senior Brandon Lunke is Notre Dame’s top golfer heading into the spring. In nine rounds of play, the team captain had a 73.33 average. He is followed by three freshmen who had outstanding seasons in the fall. Mark Baldwin played in four tournaments in the fall and had a 75.08 average in 12 rounds. Eric Deutsch played in all five tournaments and finished with a 75.13 and Scott Gustafson was third with a 75.20 average to round out the trio. A fourth freshman, Tommy Balderston, played in five tournaments and had a 76.40 average in 15 rounds of play.
Tournament Results: Results will be available on the Notre Dame website at und.com after 11:00 p.m. on each day of tournament play.
Next For The Irish: The men’s golf team will spend spring break in Florida and return to action on Friday, March 14 when they play in the Conrad Rehling Invitational at Brookwood, Ala. This tournament is a three-day event with 18 holes each day.