April 24, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NEW LONDON, N.C. – Junior Matthew Ruston finished tied for 16th at the 2016 ACC men’s golf championship on Sunday afternoon after shooting an even-par 72 in the final round of play.
Playing against a competitive field that included six top-25 teams, Rushton and the Irish held steady in 10th place by shooting a final round 292 at the Old North State Country Club (Par-72; 7,102 Yards).
“We obviously wanted to finish higher up in the field but I thought we did some very good things this week, the kinds of things that bode well heading into next season,” Head Coach Jim Kubinski said. “We’ll have all of our starters returning next year and each learned a great deal this year.”
The Irish opened the round by playing the back nine first and Rushton finished those nine holes at one-under par as a result of back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th holes. On the front nine, he mixed in six pars, a birdie and two bogeys for an even-par 72.
“Matt played so consistently well all the way through,” Kubinski added. “He didn’t tie all aspects of his game together in any one round but showed the lessons he has learned in hanging right around par all the way.”
Rushton finished the tournament tied for 16th (73-71-72-216), which is the second best finish by a Notre Dame player in three seasons of play at the ACC Championship.
Freshman Ben Albin finished tied for 25th after a final round, four-over par 76 (73-69-76-218).
Junior Blake Barens had his best round of the tournament on Sunday as he also posted an even par 72. His day included 10 pars, four birdies and four bogeys. He played is final nine holes of the afternoon at a two-under par clip and he placed 45th (73-81-72-226).
“This week let the guys know there is work ahead but also offered the realization that a 292 isn’t that far from those low to mid 280 rounds,” Kubinski said. “It’s in our sights moving to next season. I thought we let go of the tough break we were handed on day one as one of just three teams to play nearly the entire round in that steady rain. We put it behind us and played better the last two days. We just didn’t the four scores yesterday and one low one today that would have jumped us up quite a bit.”
Freshman Miguel Delgado also had his best round of the championship on Sunday, carding a one-over par 73. His steady day included 14 pars to go along with two birdies and two bogeys. He finished the weekend tied for 54th (84-75-73-232).
Junior Liam Cox shot a three-over par 75 to score for the third straight day. The 75 also marked his best round of the tournament and his final round included birdies on the seventh and 11th holes. He also tied for 54th (80-77-75-232).
“We had a few players, Blake, Miguel and Liam, put poor scores behind them and post counting scores to help our team, which shows mental toughness,” Kubinski added. “I appreciated their ability to bounce back and compete.”
Clemson (839/-25) won the tournament, finishing 11 strokes clear of second place Wake Forest (850/-14). Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siergist shot a final round 65 to take medalist honors (206/-10).
— ND —
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).