Oct. 25, 2002
Stanford, Calif. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team continued its recent run of strong play as the Irish shot an opening round of one-over par 285 and are just nine strokes behind tournament leader Washington after the first 18 holes of play at the prestigious Nelson Invitational at Stanford. The tournament, which features many of the top programs in the nation, is being played on the par 71, 6,786-yard Stanford Golf Club.
The 285 is the best team round of the season for Notre Dame and the best single-round for the Irish since the 1999-2000 season. The 285 is the eighth-best round ever at Notre Dame.
The Irish will go into Saturday’s second round of play tied with Stanford. Washington (274) has a four-stroke lead over second-place Duke (278). Colorado is third with a three-under par 281 and Georgia Tech is fourth with a one-under total of 283 with the Irish and Stanford two strokes behind to round out the top five in the 18-team field.
Individually, Notre Dame has two golfers among the top 20 led by freshman Mark Baldwin (Laconia, N.H.) who shot a four-under par 67 for his best single round of the season. The 67 also ties him with four other Notre Dame golfers for the third lowest single round score in school history. Baldwin shot a 37 on the front nine and came back with a 30 on the back nine for his round.
The 67 puts Baldwin in a fourth-place tie, three strokes behind first-round leader Dan Potter of Washington who shot an opening-round of seven-under par 64. Colorado State’s Martin Laird is one stroke behind in second with a 65. Nicholas Thompson of Georgia Tech is in third-place after 18 holes with a 66 with Brock Mackenzie of Washington and Baldwin rounding out the top five.
In all, 20 golfers in the 96-player field shot 71 or better. One of the golfers tied for 20th with an even par 71 is Irish freshman Tommy Balderston (Boca Raton, Fla.). Balderston, who is coming off his best 54-hole total of the year earlier this week (213/-3), went out in 39 and finished with a 32 for his 71.
Following Baldwin and Balderston is senior Brandon Lunke (San Antonio, Texas) who is tied for 34th after one round of play with a two-over par 73. Freshman Scott Gustafson (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and sophomore Ryan Marshall (Marco Island, Fla.) are among 14 golfers tied for 44th with three-over par totals of 74, while freshman Eric Deutsch (Rochester, Minn.) is one stroke behind them with a 75. Marshall is playing as an individual entrant.
The second round of the Nelson Invitational will begin on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. (PDT) at the Stanford Golf Club. The final 18 holes of play in the 54-hole tournament will be played on Sunday, Oct. 27.
TEAM RESULTS (18 holes): 1. Washington 274; 2. Duke 278; 3. Colorado State 281; 4. Georgia Tech 283; t5. Note Dame 285; Stanford 285; 7. Kansas 288; 8. Northwestern 289; 9. Toledo 291; t10. Missouri 292; Oregon State 292; Miami (OH) 292; 13. North Carolina State 293; 14. Colorado 294; t15. Texas Tech 296; Florida Southern 296; 17. Idaho 304; 18. Hawaii-Hilo 308.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 96): 1. Dan Potter (Washington) 64; 2. Martin Laird (Colorado State) 65; 3. Nicholas Thompson (Georgia Tech) 66; t4. Mark Baldwin (Notre Dame) 67; Brock Mackenzie (Washington) 67; t6. Mike Castleforte (Duke) 68; Ron Won (Stanford) 68; Brett Tobyne (Colorado State) 68; t9. Chris Marshall (Kansas) 69; Tyler Hall (Kansas) 69; Chris Happ (Missouri) 69.
NOTRE DAME PLAYERS (of 96): t4. Mark Baldwin 67; t20. Tommy Balderston 71; t34. Brandon Lunke 73; t44. Scott Gustafson 74; * Ryan Marshall 74; t61. Eric Deutsch 75.