March 15, 2015
NAPLES, Fla. – University of Notre Dame men’s golf freshman Thomas Steve posted the top Irish score of the opening 36 holes of the 2015 Talis Park Challenge on Sunday. Steve carded rounds of two-under-par 69 and two-over-par 73 to tie for 15th place in the field at 142 (E) at the Talis Park Golf Club.
Notre Dame tied for 11th place overall in the field after a day one score of 582 (290-292). The Irish will begin the third and final round a mere 10 strokes behind NIU (282-290=572) for fifth place in the tournament’s team draw. Notre Dame’s team scoring average of 4.64 on par 5 holes (-11) tied for second place in the 15-team field.
No. 4 Vanderbilt opened a two-stroke lead at 560 (-8) following rounds of 276-284 on Sunday. No. 14 LSU earned second place honors at 562 (286-276, -6), followed by round one co-leader Wichita State (276-290=566). Texas A&M (284-283=567) and NIU completed the top five after the tournament’s first day.
Making his second career spring tournament start, Steve birdied a total of six holes during his first two rounds of the Talis Park Challenge. Steve enjoyed a three-under-par showing on par 5 holes out of the gate, rolling in a birdie at the eighth hole during the second round and posting a four each time he played the 15th hole on day one. The Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania native added birdies at the par 4 10th, par 3 13th and par 4 18th holes.
Sophomore Blake Barens notched three birdies of his own during a morning one-under-par 70 before drifting back to the field with an afternoon score of 74. Barens closed the day tied for 25th place after 36 holes at 144 (71-74).
Junior Cory Sciupider improved from an opening two-over 73 with two birdies and an eagle in his afternoon 18. Sciupider’s four-under-par clip on par 5 holes guided him to a share of 30th place overall at 145 (73-72).
Sophomores Matthew Rushton (78-76) and Liam Cox (81-73) rounded out the Notre Dame starting five with a share of 69th place in the field on Sunday. Cox’s eight-stroke improvement during his afternoon 18 was the best among all Irish players, and featured two of his five birdies on the day.
The third and final round of the Talis Park Challenge is scheduled to begin with an 8:30 a.m. (ET) shotgun start on Monday at the Talis Park Golf Club. Live results will be available via BirdieFire.com.