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Vernon, Smith Claim Early Leads At Campus Championships

Aug. 30, 1999

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Seniors Todd Vernon (Englewood, Colo.) and Jeff Connell (La Crosse, Wis.) stand among the first-round leaders at the annual Notre Dame Campus Golf Championship while junior Shane Smith (St. Petersburg, Fla.) used a strong first round to claim the lead in the women’s competition, following 18 holes of play Sunday at Blackthorn Golf Club.

Vernon-who won the 1997 BIG EAST Conference Championship at Blackthorn with a two-round score of 141-carded an even-par 72 on Sunday to claim a two-shot lead over Connell, sophomore Steve Ratay (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and juniors Adam Anderson (Plankinton, S.D.) and Tony Bartsh (Bettendorf, Iowa).

Juniors Becca Schloss (Bloomsburg, Pa.), Danielle Villarosa (Verona, N.J.) and sophomore Kristin McMurtrie stand tied for second in the women’s competition, after shooting 82 in the first round. Villarosa’s foursome had to complete the 18th hole on Monday, after play was halted Sunday night due to darkness. Freshman Michelle Halverson (Plymouth, Minn.) had an impressive debut, posting an 83 for fifth place in the 16-golfer field.

The men’s championship continues at Blackthorn with 18 holes on Saturday, Sept. 4. The 52-player field then will be cut to approximately 20 golfers prior to the final 36 holes, which will be played at Blackthorn on Sunday, Sept. 5. The 36-hole women’s championship also concludes on Sept. 5, with 18 holes.

Vernon finished third at the 1998 campus championship (297) while his 299 total in 1997 landed him one stroke behind Connell’s first-place showing (Vernon shot 315 as a freshman, in 1996). Connell lost to Brad Hardin in a playoff to decide the 1998 campus championship (both shot 292) and posted an impressive fourth-place 298 as a freshman in 1996.

Senior Andrea Klee (Neenah, Wis.) was unable to defend her campus championship title, due to a wrist injury suffered in early August. The condition of her wrist will be checked on a weekly basis and the Irish team captain will remain out indefinitely as she rests the wrist and undergoes rehabilitation.

Other top scores from Sunday’s action in the men’s tournament included freshmen Cameron Schubert (75, Tulsa, Okla.) and Jarrett Bingemann (75, Ponte Verda Beach, Fla.) and four players at 77: junior Alex Kent (77, Asunsion, Paraguay), fifth-year senior Willie Kent (77, Asunsion, Paraguay), sophomore Jon Kosares (Denver, Colo.) and freshman Rory Cleary (Grosse Point Shores, Mich.).

Willie Kent-the older brother of Alex-has returned to Notre Dame for his final academic semester but has no remaining athletic eligibility (he still was allowed to compete in the campus championship, due to his active status as a Notre Dame undergraduate).

Sophomore Chris Whitten (Rockford, Mich.).-who played with the Irish varsity during some tournaments last spring-carded an opening-round 83. Noteworthy scores among the incoming freshmen included 80s from Michael Hastings (Spokane, Wash.) and J.B. Bump (Windsor, N.Y.) and an 83 from Brandon Lunke (San Antonio, Texas).

Other scores by returning members of the Notre Dame women’s varsity golf team include: senior Beth Cooper (85, Kalamazoo, Mich.), junior Mary Klein (86, Kokomo, Ind.) and senior Brigid Fisher (90, Augusta, Ga.).

18 holes of 72, Aug. 29, Sept. 4-5
Blackthorn Golf Club, Par 72, 5,961 yards

1. Todd Vernon 72, 2. Jeff Connell 74, Steve Ratay 74, Adam Anderson 74, Tony Bartsh 74, 6. Cameron Schubert 75, Jarrett Bingemann 75, 8. Alex Kent 77, Willie Kent 77, Jon Kosares 77, Rory Cleary 77, 12. Patrick Caraher 78, Coley Brady 78, 14. Scott Meader 79, 15. Adam Vecchi 79, 16. Michael Hastings 80, Corey Campbell 80, J.B. Bump 80, Jon Reeder 80, 20. Pat Schaffler 81, Jeff Irish 81, 22. Bo Plummer 82, Kevin Ricci 82, Fernando Herrera 82, David Lubnik 82, John Caliolo 82, 27. Chris Whitten 83, Rob Sina 83, Brandon Lunke 83, L.J. Hayes 83, Josh Leeman 83, 32. Todd Hardin 84, Wayne LeSage 84, 34. John Dunham 85, Ben Alke 85, Wade Hellner 85, 37. Dan Hatalsky 87, Joseph Gehrke 87, 39. Adam Limbach 88, Dan Buttke 88, Herbert Huesman 88, 42. Jonathan Volk 89, 43. Derek Gipson 89, 44. Kyle Heroman 90, 45. Keith McLean 92, 46. Robert Forcash 93, 47. Andrew Dayton 94, Ryan Marn 94, 49. Joe Pfiffner 102. Did not score: Aaron Roth, Jonathan Fitzgerald, Jim Moravek.

18 holes of 36, Aug. 29, Sept. 5
Blackthorn Golf Club, Par 72, 5,181 yards

1. Shane Smith 81 , 2. Becca Schloss 82, Danielle Villarosa 82, Kristin McMurtrie 82, 5. Michelle Halverson 83, 6. Beth Cooper 85, 7. Mary Klein 86, 8. Shelby Strong 88, 9. Priscilla Ro 89, 10. Brigid Fisher 90, 11. Jenny Lynch 91, 12. Terri Taibl 92, 13. Lauren Fuchs 93, 14. Nina Siggins 95, 15. Sara Rabe 103, Lindsay Petersen 103