March 16, 2015
NAPLES, Fla. – Strong final rounds from three University of Notre Dame men’s golfers on Monday guided the Irish to their best finish of the 2015 spring season. Notre Dame took home solo 10th place after a final round 291 (290-292-291=873) at the Talis Park Challenge at the Talis Park Golf Club, a mere four strokes from breaking into the tournament’s top five finishers.
The Irish placed second in the 15-team field with a 4.69 stroke average, and an impressive 14-under-par, on par 5 holes at the Talis Park Golf Club during the event. Notre Dame also checked in as the third-best par 3 practitioners with a 3.12 clip over 54 holes.
No. 14 LSU posted its second consecutive score of 276 to claim the tournament team championship by four shots at 838 (286-276-276, -14). Defending champion and day one leader No. 4 Vanderbilt (276-284-282) earned solo runner-up honors at 10-under-par 842. Wichita State (276-290-284=850), Texas A&M (284-283-291=858) and NIU (282-290-297=869) carded the remaining top five overall scores.
Sophomore Blake Barens put the finishing touches on his best career collegiate tournament score with a third straight solid round on Monday. Bouncing back from a double bogey at the 10th hole, Barens notched a birdie at the par 3 13th as part of a back nine one-over-par 37.
Birdies at the par 4 first and fourth holes, and a birdie four at the par 5 ninth hole closed an even par 71 for the Villa Park, California native. Barens tied for 20th place in the final Talis Park Challenge standings at two-over-par 215 (70-74-71).
Freshman Thomas Steve joined Barens in teeing off at the 11th hole during the shotgun start format, dropping three shots on the back nine (39) at Talis Park. Steve battled back after making the turn, carding birdies at the par 4 fourth and par 5 eighth holes to solidify a two-over 73.
In just his second career spring start during his debut collegiate campaign, Steve shared 20th place with Barens at 215 following rounds of 69-73-73.
Sophomore Matthew Rushton saved his best for last by posting the Notre Dame score of the day in round three. Two birdies, at the par 4 10th and par 3 17th holes, meshed with seven solid pars in Rushton’s back nine 34 (-2). A lone bogey at the third hole was immediately canceled out by a birdie at the par 4 fourth, leading Rushton to a closing two-under-par 69 and a share of 50th place at 223 (78-76-69).
Junior Cory Sciupider added a second Notre Dame score of 223 (73-72-78) to join Rushton in 50th place. Sophomore Liam Cox rounded out the Notre Dame lineup in 71st place (81-73-80=234), notching an even par score of 36 on the back nine of the Talis Park Golf Club on Monday.
Notre Dame will close its 2015 regular season schedule at the Mason Rudolph Invitational on April 3-4 at the Legends Club in Nashville, Tennessee.
Talis Park Challenge-Talis Park Golf Club-Par-71, 6,893 Yds.
TEAMS (FINAL): 1. No. 14 LSU 286-276-276=838, -14; 2. No. 4 Vanderbilt 276-284-282=842, -10; 3. Wichita State 276-290-284=850, -2; 4. Texas A&M 284-283-291=858, +6; 5. NIU 282-290-297=869, +17; 6. Miami (Ohio) 290-292-288=870, +18; T7. Xavier 292-289-290=871, +19; T7. Michigan State 285-293-293=871, +19; 9. Eastern Michigan 289-290-293=872, +20; 10. Notre Dame 290-292-291=873, +21; 11. Toledo 295-285-294=874, +22; 12. Florida Gulf Coast 291-288-297=876, +24; 13. Ball State 289-298-297=884, +32; 14. Akron 294-301-297=892, +40; 15. Indiana 301-304-302=907.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (FINAL): T20. Blake Barens 70-74-71=215, +2; T20. Thomas Steve 69-73-73=215, +2; T50. Cory Sciupider 73-72-78=223, +10; T50. Matthew Rushton 78-76-69=223, +10; 71. Liam Cox 81-73-80=234, +21.