Nov. 7, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team’s freshman class has been ranked at the top of Golfstat’s Freshman Class Impact Rankings for the fall of 2002 golf schedule.
Golfstat, the official source for college golf scores and statistics, provides statistics to both the NCAA and the National Golf Coaches Association. Golfstat’s computer rankings of the freshmen class take into account the fall portion of the 2002-03 schedule and the impact that the team’s freshmen had on team scoring.
Notre Dame used four freshmen throughout the season and they recorded a “relative strength” rating of 391.092. The University of Florida’s three freshmen golfers were second with a rating of 379.31 and Virginia Commonwealth’s freshman trio recorded a rating of 355.46.
The four freshmen who have made an impact during the fall schedule are Tommy Balderston (Boca Raton, Fla.), Mark Baldwin (Laconia, N.H.), Eric Deutsch (Rochester, Minn.) and Scott Gustafson (Eden Prairie, Minn.).
Irish men’s golf coach John Jasinski is happy with the way his freshmen have played in their rookie season to date.
“We’re extremely pleased with the way they have responded through the first semester. I’m not surprised though. They are all capable of playing at this level,” says Jasinski.
“We entrusted the young guys with the resposibility of building Notre Dame’s golf program into one of the top programs in the country. They have worked hard and are starting to understand what it takes to play team golf. The talent is definitely there. Now we need to work on their consistency.”
Each freshman has taken his turn as the team’s top finisher in one tournament this season. Deutsch led the Irish with a 225 at the Inverness Intercollegiate to open the season. Gustafson fired a three-over par 219 to lead the team at the Kansas Invitational. Balderston finished fifth with a three-under par 213 at the SMU Stonebridge Invitational and Baldwin tied for 11th with a two-under par 211 at the Stanford’s Nelson Invitational.
Baldwin, who battled mononucleosis in the fall, finished the fall ranked second on the team with a 75.08 average in 12 rounds. Deutsch was third with a 75.13 average in 15 rounds of play. Gustafson was fourth with a 75.20 average in 15 rounds and Balderston, after a slow start, is fifth with a 76.40 average in the five tournaments he played in the fall.
According to Golfstat, the four Irish freshmen have a combined average of 75.45. The Irish return to action in February after breaking for the remainder of the fall semester.