March 13, 1999

OCALA, Fla. – Notre Dame senior Willie Kent will take a three-stroke cushion into Sunday’s final-round play at the Golden Ocala Intercollegiate, after firing a one-under 71 on Saturday for a 138 total at the Ocala Country Club.

Due to insufficient reporting by the host school Miami (Ohio), full team and individual statistics were not available, as of 2:00 a.m. eastern time on March 14. The below information will be updated and corrected, as is become available.

According to Orlando Sentinel reports, Kent holds a three-shot lead on Ball State’s Jamie Broce (71-70) and Vanderbilt’s Andy Bowers (72-69), heading into the final round of the 108-player tournament. Methodist’s Chad Collins (68-74) is lurking four shots off the pace, followed by Penn State’s Matt Abbott (76-67) and Ohio University’s Joe Hill (69-75).

As a team, Notre Dame moved up one spot to eighth place on Saturday, after firing a second-round 299 for a 596 total. The Irish have the chance to move up several spots on the final day, trailing Rollins College by three strokes, Marshall by six, Methodist by seven and Ball State by eight. Updated individual scores on the other five Notre Dame entrants were unavailable as of late Saturday night.

Vanderbilt (287-292/579) leads the 18-team field, with a seven-shot edge on Richmond while James Madison is two shots behind the Spiders, at 588.

Kent-whose first-round 67 represented the lowest round by a Notre Dame golfer in 37 years-needs to shoot 70 or lower in Sunday’s final round to set the Irish record for low 54-hole tournament score. That mark is held by current junior Jeff Connell, who posted a four-under 209 at the Marshall Invitational in the spring of 1998. Kent needs to shoot 73 or lower to best Connell’s mark for the program’s best 54-hole score in relation to par (-4).

TEAM STANDINGS (36 of 54 holes): 1. . Vanderbilt 287-292/579; 2. Richmond 286-300/586; 3. James Madison 293-295/588; 4. Ball State 299-292-591; 5. Methodist 288-304/592; 6. Marshall 295-298/593; 7. Rollins 296-300/596; 8. Notre Dame 297-302/599; 9. Ohio 293-307/600; 10. Indiana 302-300/602 ; 11. Miami 302-300/602; 12. Michigan 300-303/603; 13. Louisville 296-407/603; 14. Temple 305-299/604; 15. Northern Illinois 312-293/605. Second-round scores not available: Penn State 308- / ; St. Louis 309- / ; .; Akron 321- / .

TOP INDIVIDUALS (of 108): 1. Willie Kent (ND) 67-71/138; 2. Jamie Broce (MIA) 71-70/141; Andy Bowers (VAN) 72-69/141; 4. Chad Collins (METH) 68-74/142; 5. Matt Abbott (PSU) 76-67/143; 6. Joe Hill (OHIO) 69-75/144.

OTHER FIRST-ROUND NOTRE DAME SCORES (SECOND ROUND NOT AVAILABLE): Brad Hardin 76, Todd Vernon 77. Chris Whitten 77, Jeff Connell 79, Steve Ratay 85.