April 6, 2014
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - A historic day from Niall Platt vaulted the University of Notre Dame men's golf senior tri-captain into a tie for second place on Sunday in the individual tournament draw, enabling the Irish to share sixth place after the final round of the Irish Creek Collegiate at The Club at Irish Creek. Notre Dame posted rounds of 295-285-294 to tie Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) foe Duke with a final score of 874 for the tournament.
"We really started to play better and over longer stretches this week," Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. "The golf course was set up on the edges, where you could make a bogey very quickly, so all teams had some of that. I liked how we made our share of birdies and had some players move past those potential momentum killing bogeys."
The tied for second place finish for Platt was the best individual result of the year by any Notre Dame player, and the third runner-up finish of his career. The Santa Barbara, Calif. native also notched his ninth career top five, and officially moved into the program's all-time scoring average lead at 73.19, surpassing the career 73.25 stroke average established by three-time BIG EAST Conference Championship medalist Max Scodro ('12).
After beginning the third round at the seventh hole, Platt moved to two-under on his round with back-to-back birdies at the par 5 13th and 14th holes, bringing his tournament score to four-under and within one stroke of the lead. A lone bogey on his back nine card sent Platt out in one-under 35.
Platt added a birdie at the par 4 first hole, and kicked in another at the 186-yard third hole to move to three-under on the day. A single bogey at the par 5 sixth hole was the only mark on the front nine card, as Platt closed with a one-under 34 to cap a final round two-under-par 69 and earn a share of runner-up honors.
Freshman Matt Rushton capped a gritty weekend performance with a total of five birdies during his final round, playing the par 5 holes at The Club at Irish Creek in three-under-par. Rushton wrapped up his final round with a birdie at the 541-yard sixth hole to post a final day 73 (+2), and tie for 17th place at four-over-par 217 (72-72-73).
"Niall put together three under par scores, which is a testament to his talent and patience," Kubinski said. "Matthew did a great job, with three solid and consistent rounds. Those top two combined for 25 birdies, which shows their ability."
Junior Patrick Grahek birdied three holes in his third round as part of a closing 75, tying for 41st place at 11-over-par (76-73-75-224). Freshman Liam Cox earned a share of 62nd place with a final score of 227 (80-70-77), while sophomore Cory Sciupider posted 238 (77-80-81) for the weekend.
No. 47 Georgia State claimed the team victory thanks to a final round five-over-par 289, closing the event with a winning total of 859 (288-282-289). No. 50 North Florida was second at 860 (291-279-290), with tournament co-host Charlotte (287-284-300) and No. 36 Wake Forest (288-292-291) tied for third place at 871. Ohio State placed fifth with a team score of 873 (298-281-294).
No. 54 MJ Maguire of North Florida earned individual medalist honors, carding a final round three-under-par 68 to win by four strokes at 205 (73-64-68, -8). Notre Dame's Platt and Charlie Bull of Akron (72-69-68) shared second place at four-under 209, with Charlotte's Thomas Rowland in fourth place at 210 (68-69-73). Wake Forest's Clancy Waugh (72-69-70) and Georgia State's Davin White (71-70-70) tied for fifth place at two-under-par 211.
"We finished 15 strokes from winning, so we have work to do," Kubinski said. "At the same time, that's only one shot per player each round, a small margin. With our golf course open now, and the prep time these next couple of weeks (before Oak Hill on April 21), we're excited to keep building."
Irish Creek Collegiate-The Club at Irish Creek-Par-71, 7,099 Yds.
TOP-10 TEAMS (Final): 1. No. 47 Georgia State 288-282-289-859, +7; 2. No. 50 North Florida 291-279-290-860, +8; T3. Charlotte 287-284-300-871, +19; T3. No. 36 Wake Forest 288-292-291-871, +19; 5. Ohio State 298-281-294-873, +21; T6. Duke 291-286-297-874, +22; T6. Notre Dame 295-285-294-874, +22; 8. Indiana 294-291-294-879, +27; 9. East Carolina 294-289-297-880, +28; 10. Appalachian State 294-290-299-883, +31.
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS (Final): 1. No. 54 MJ Maguire (North Florida) 73-64-68-205, -8; T2. Charlie Bull (Akron) 72-69-68-209, -4; T2. Niall Platt (Notre Dame) 70-70-69-209, -4; 4. Thomas Rowland (Charlotte) 68-69-73-210, -3; T5. Clancy Waugh (Wake Forest) 72-69-70-211, -2; T5. Davin White (Georgia State) 71-70-70-211, -2; 7. Payne McLeod (UNCW) 72-70-70-212, -1; T8. J.J. Grey (Georgia State) 69-71-73-213, E; T8. Boo Timko (Ohio State) 73-67-73-213, E; 10. Frederik Hammer 73-69-72-214, +1.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (Final): T2. Niall Platt 70-70-69-209, -4; T17. Matt Rushton 72-72-73-217, +4; T41. Patrick Grahek 76-73-75-224, +11; T62. Liam Cox 80-70-77-227, +14; T86. Cory Sciupider 77-80-81-238, +25.