Sept. 30, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame junior men’s golfer Cory Sciupider logged a pair of birdies during his third round on the way to a closing two-over-par 73, claiming solo second place honors on the final day of the 2014 Fighting Irish Golf Classic on Tuesday at the Warren Golf Course. Sciupider (67-71-73=211, -2) finished a mere two strokes behind Ball State’s McCormick Clouser (66-72-71=209, -4) for top honors in the individual draw, as both players were the only two golfers in the 50-man field to post an under-par overall score for the tournament.
Notre Dame carded a final round team score of 300 to place solo seventh (285-302-300=887). The Fighting Irish finished just five strokes outside of the top five, with Davidson (300-285-297=882) earning the fifth slot. Freshman Thomas Steve enjoyed his best career college finish for Notre Dame, placing in eighth place all alone at three-over-par 216 (71-73-72).
“We just didn’t get anything good going the last two days,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “We started out playing well, leading after the first day, and confidence was high. The last two days saw too many of us that little bit off. We finished 10 shots out of second place, which is less than one shot per player each round from posting a 6-1 record. Those are often the margins in golf though, so we need to find those one or two shots per player.”
Sciupider made the turn in a deadlock with Clouser for the lead at four-under-par for the tournament, but a triple bogey at the par 4 third hole knocked the Etowah, North Carolina native off the pace. Sciupider quickly birdied the par 5 518-yard fifth hole to pull back within two with four holes to play. Pars the rest of the way in closed a back nine 37 for Sciupider to secure his final round 73.
“I can’t say enough about the work Cory has done the last several months and, particularly over the three weeks since the Gopher Invitational,” Kubinski said. “He didn’t run from a tough finish there. He went to work, the result of which was finishing as one of the only two players in the red this week. Even after making triple at No. 3 today, a time when a lot of young players might allow their emotions to get away from them, Cory finished off his round with five pars and a birdie. He’s maturing as a player, which is fun to watch.”
Steve worked through a roller coaster front nine, which included an eagle three at the par 5 fifth and a birdie at the sixth hole to balance out three bogeys and one double bogey, capping the front nine in two-over-par 37. Birdies at the 245-yard 11th and 418-yard 15th holes kicked the Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania native’s back nine into high gear. A bogey at the 18th hole finished out a 35 (-1) on the back side, but gave Steve momentum to build off of.
“I walked most every hole with Thomas and continue to be impressed by his great attitude, thoughtful approach and his gifted short game,” Kubinski said. “He hit some great shots out there too. Earning his first top 10 finish this week, as a frosh, should only be a confidence boost.
“I think he is realizing he not only belongs out there but that he can beat top players,” Kubinski added. “McCormick (Clouser, Steve’s Tuesday playing competitor) is not only one of the top collegiate players but a veteran of our Warren Golf Course. He edged Thomas by a shot, that says a lot about our young guy.”
Sophomore Matthew Rushton (69-76-76=221, tied for 14th place), senior Patrick Grahek (72-75-76=223, tied for 21st place) and senior Tyler Wingo (73-78-76=227, tied for 33rd place) all carded five-over rounds of 76 during the final round, while sophomore Liam Cox ended his tournament with an 81 (76-82-81, tied for 48th place) to round out the Notre Dame starting five.
Michigan State became the first three-time champion in the history of the event, closing with a seven-over-par 291 to win by 14 strokes (288-284-291=863) over runner-up Ball State (293-293-291=877). The Spartans previously won Notre Dame’s signature event in 2007 (847, +7) and 2012 (869, +17).
Long Beach State checked in with a third place result at 878 (286-293-299), with Loyola (Maryland) right behind in fourth place at 880 (289-299-292).
“There’s no value in lamenting losses,” Kubinski said. “We have to get right back onto the horse and start riding again. In each tournament we’ve had players playing well. We simply cannot have a player or two at each event falling off to the point where there’s no chance of counting. The top teams keep all five in the mix, we are working to do that.”
Notre Dame continues its 2014 fall season at the Rod Myers Invitational on Oct. 11-12 at the Duke University Golf Club in Durham, North Carolina
Fighting Irish Golf Classic-Warren Golf Course-Par-71, 7,023 Yds.
TEAMS (FINAL): 1. Michigan State 288-284-291=863, +11; 2. Ball State 293-293-291=877, +25; 3. Long Beach State 286-293-299=878, +26; 4. Loyola (Md.) 289-299-292=880, +28; 5. Davidson 300-285-297=882, +30; 6. Lamar 294-295-295=884, +32; 7. Notre Dame 285-302-300=887, +35; 8. Florida Gulf Coast 303-289-301=893, +41.
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS (FINAL): 1. McCormick Clouser (Ball State) 66-72-71=209, -4; 2. Cory Sciupider (Notre Dame) 67-71-73=211, -2; 3. Casper Howells (Florida Gulf Coast) 75-69-69=213, E; T4. Mans Berglund (Lamar) 71-72-71=214, +1; T4. Charlie Netzel (Michigan State) 72-68-74=214, +1; T6. Matt Oshrine (Loyola) 68-75-72=215, +2; T6. Sam Weatherhead (Michigan State) 75-70-70=215, +2; 8. Thomas Steve (Notre Dame) 71-73-72=216, +3; 9. Kevin Lee (Long Beach State) 67-76-74=217, +4; 10. Brendan Peel (Loyola) 70-70-79=219, +6.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (FINAL): 2. * Cory Sciupider 67-71-73=211, -2; 8. Thomas Steve 71-73-72=216, +3; T14. Matthew Rushton 69-76-76=221, +8; T21. Patrick Grahek 72-75-76=223, +10; T33. Tyler Wingo 73-78-76=227, +14; T33. * Blake Barens 75-73-79=227, +14; 40. * David Lowe 78-77-76=231, +18; T46. * Jens Verhey 70-80-84=234, +21; T46. * Zach Toste 81-77-76=234, +21; T48. Liam Cox 76-82-81=239, +26.
*- Played as an individual