NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It was a two-horse race on the final day of the Fighting Irish Classic as No. 17 Notre Dame men’s golf battled No. 10 North Carolina down to the final hole. With the Irish and Tar Heels deadlocked at 16-under with just two groups left to play the 18th hole, junior Davis Chatfield recorded a clutch par, while UNC’s Ryan Gerard bogeyed, ultimately clinching the victory.
The 2019-20 Irish squad becomes the first in program history to win three titles in their first four tournaments. They also tie the 1999-00 squad who won three tournaments (most in program history) during a full academic year.
The win also marked the program’s fourth Fighting Irish Classic crown. Notre Dame defeated 13 other teams which included two top-10 teams in No. 10 North Carolina and No. 3 Arizona State.
The Irish boasted a seven-stroke lead on the Tar Heels entering Tuesday morning, but North Carolina rallied early, capturing the lead before the front-nine was completed. However, Notre Dame steadied the ship to regain a one-stroke lead to kick-off the back-nine.
The two went back-and-forth on the back-nine, with the Irish pushing the lead to four strokes before returning to all-square with three holes remaining. Chatfield’s second shot on 18 went just long of the green, but a beautiful chip within 10 feet of the hole led to the par putt and eventual win.
Chatfield finished the round with an even-par 71 to place fourth with a 208 (-5). Hunter Ostrom also performed in the clutch for the Irish with a final round 68 (-3), finishing 29th with a 216 (+3).
Notre Dame also counted scores today from Davis Lamb and Andrew O’Leary who shot a 72 (+1) and 71 (E), respectively. Lamb was strong down the stretch, going bogey free while posting crucial birdies on both 12 and 17. Lamb finished in 13th place with a 212 (-1). O’Leary also posted a pivotal birdie on 17 and tied for 29th with a 216 (+3).
Freshman Palmer Jackson, who started the day in second place, slipped five spots in the standings to seventh after shooting a 75 (+4). Jackson carded a 210 (-3) and recorded his second top-10 finish on the young season.
On the individual competitor side, freshman Patrick Kelly fired off a final round 68 (-3), which included two eagles, to rise 12 spots to 18th place. Kelly ended with a 213 (E). Also producing a top-30 finish was sophomore Tachi Kho, who finished in 29th as well with a 216 (+3).
— ND —