Aug. 16, 2001
Notre Dame, Ind. –
Notre Dame senior golfer Steve Ratay (Arlington Heights, Ill.) will make his way to Atlanta, Ga., this weekend to begin preparations for the 2001 U.S. Amateur Golf Tournament which begins on Monday, Aug. 20th at two Atlanta-area golf courses.
Ratay, who was Notre Dame’s top golfer in the spring of 2001, will begin play on Monday (Aug. 20) with a 12:24 p.m. tee time at the par 72, 6,561-yard Druid Hills Golf Club. He will play his second round (7:39 a.m. tee time) on Tuesday (Aug. 21) at the par 70, 7,007-yard East Lake Golf Club to close out the opening 36 holes of play. From there, the tournament field will be cut with match play beginning on Wednesday.
For the Irish Academic All-American this will be his first appearance in the U.S. Amateur. “It’s definitely a big thrill to be playing in the Amateur,” says Ratay.
“I’m sure I’ll be nervous at first, but I’ve got nothing to lose. I just hope to play well enough to make it to match play because from there, anything can happen.”
Ratay qualified for the Amateur on July 30th at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course where he was co-medalist with Randy Nichols of Connersville, Ind. with a 141 total (72-69) on his collegiate home course.
“I was playing well coming into the qualifier. They course set up was pretty difficult but I had a good idea of where to hit it and where not to hit the ball. The home course advantage really helped a lot,” says Ratay.
The U.S. Amateur closes out a busy summer for the computer science major. Earlier in the summer he played in his first Illinois Open where he finished 14th with rounds of 71-74-74-219.
After qualifying for the U.S. Amateur, Ratay played the following week in the Western Amateur at Point O’Woods Golf and Country Club in Benton Harbor, Mich. There, he turned in his best finish at that tournament in the three years he’s been playing there, finishing 18th with a two-under par 282 turning in rounds of 69-73-66-74. He finished two spots out of the Sweet 16 (the top 16 players) that moved on to match play for the tournament championship.
Earlier this week he competed at the Illinois Amateur in Rockford, Ill., where he fired rounds of 80 and 72 for a 152 total that missed the cut.
The Arlington Heights, Ill., native will return to Notre Dame for his final season with the Irish golf team. As a junior, he led the Irish with two first place finishes, taking co-medalist honors at the Wisconsin Invitational and the BIG EAST Championship in the spring.
Ratay’s single season average of 73.68 was the second best single season mark at Notre Dame, trailing only Joe Grace’s 73.13 average set in 1955-56. His career average of 75.09 is the seventh best average in the history of the Notre Dame golf program.
He was a third team Verizon Academic All-American last season as he has a 3.781 grade point average in Computer Science and has been a Dean’s List student in each of his first six semesters at Notre Dame.