Feb. 11, 2011
TAMPA BAY, Fla. - The 26th-ranked University of Notre Dame men's golf team finished the opening day of The Match Play with a record of 1-1 on Friday at the TPC of Tampa Bay. The Irish claimed an opening round victory over Morehead State (4.5-0.5) before losing to Marquette (2.5-2.5) via tiebreaker rules.
The Match Play format sends five golfers on to the course for each squad with one point being played for in each individual match, for a total of five points possible. In the instance that a match is tied, such as Notre Dame's match with Marquette, the tiebreaker states the team that wins by the most combined holes is named the winner.
In the morning match for the Irish against Morehead State, junior Chris Walker (San Antonio, Texas) and freshman Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) staked the team to an early 2-0 advantage after each carded 6-and-5 victories. Walker, playing as the No. 2, defeated Matthew Logan, while Platt, playing as the No. 4, took down Jared Flanery.
Junior Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.) and sophomore Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) were next in the clubhouse for the Irish as each posted 4-and-3 victories in their respective matches. Playing as the No. 3 in the rotation, Scodro defeated Michael Brown, while McNamara played out of the No. 5 position in his victory over Alex Wright.
Junior Tom Usher (Bradford, England) halved his match with Alex Misback, playing as the No. 1, giving each player a half of a point and running the final tally to 4.5-0.5 in favor of the Irish.
In the afternoon match, the Irish faced off against Marquette, who advanced in their opening round match with a tiebreak victory over Villanova, 2.5-2.5, after winning by a total of five holes to the Wildcats four holes.
Usher and Walker anchored the top of the Irish rotation with each earning victory in their matches, 2 up, beating Kelly Kretz and Ben Sieg, respectively.
The third position saw Scodro battle Corey Konieczki to an all-square finish, earning both teams a half a point. The Irish, however, were unable to win either of the final two matches in the rotation as Platt was defeated by Matt Haase 4-and-3, while McNamara III fell to Ryan Prickette 1 up.
With the match square at 2.5-2.5, the tiebreaker was credited to the team with the larger winning margin (by holes won), which fell the way of the Golden Eagles, 5-4.
The Irish now move into the fifth-place bracket, where they await the loser of the Campbell versus Kennesaw State matchup, which went unfinished due to darkness. Action is slated to resume at 7:30 a.m. (ET) Saturday to finish the remaining second round matches, with third-round matches commencing at approximately 8:30 a.m.
Be sure to check back with und.com for a complete recap of the Irish on the final day of The Match Play Championship.
Match Play Results: First Round (Notre Dame-4.5, Morehead State-0.5): 1. Tom Usher (ND) and Alex Misback (MSU), halved 2. Chris Walker (ND) def. Matthew Logan (MSU), 6&5 3. Max Scodro (ND) def. Michael Brown (MSU), 4&3 4. Niall Platt (ND) def. Jared Flanery (MSU), 6&5 5. Paul McNamara III (ND) def. Alex Wright (MSU), 4&3
Second Round (Marquette-2.5, Notre Dame-2.5): 1. Tom Usher (ND) def. Kelly Kretz (MU), 2 up 2. Chris Walker (ND) def. Ben Sieg (MU), 2 up 3. Max Scodro (ND) and Corey Konieczki (MU), halved 4. Matt Haase (MU) def. Niall Platt (ND), 4&3 5. Ryan Prickette (MU) def. Paul McNamara III (ND), 1 up