April 21, 2014
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The University of Notre Dame men's golf team fired consecutive rounds of seven-over par 287 on the famed grounds of Oak Hill Country Club on Monday to take a seven-stroke lead after day one of the Oak Hill Intercollegiate on the club's East Course. The Irish (287-287-574, +14) hold the tournament advantage over Nebraska (289-292-581, +21) following the first day of play.
“Oak Hill was a great test today,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “There wasn’t much wind but we used the 2013 third round PGA Championship hole locations on a slightly shortened course. We played at around 6,900 yards, which given the time of year was prudent. It was one of those days where the goal was to make pars.”
Notre Dame senior tri-captain Niall Platt claimed the overnight lead in the individual competition after carding a bogey-free, second round four-under 66, finishing the day at three-under-par 137 (71-66). Platt has a two-stroke advantage over Nebraska's Matt Record (70-69-139, -1) entering the third and final round on Tuesday.
After three bogeys in his final four holes of a first round 71, Platt birdied the par 5 fourth, par 3 sixth and par 4 ninth holes to go out in three-under 32 on the front nine in round two. The Santa Barbara, Calif. native added a birdie at the 323-yard 14th hole to reach four-under-par.
“I’m never surprised at any strong round Niall plays, even a 66 at Oak Hill,” Kubinski said. “Niall has a complete game and, more importantly, a lot of emotional maturity. He actually missed a handful of putts inside 10 feet this afternoon and still posted 66, he never let any miss bother him. I’m proud of the work he has done and of his maturation.”
Fellow Irish tri-captain and Rochester native Andrew Lane tied for fifth place (71-74) after the opening 36 holes with freshman Matt Rushton (74-71) at five-over 145. Lane, an Oak Hill member, made birdie both times he played the 570-yard fourth hole on Monday, finishing the day at two-under on par 5 holes on the East Course.
“Andrew did a fantastic job of not only dealing with any pressure of playing in front of his hometown gallery, but of also shaking off any rust having not started this season,” Kubinski said. “He played well and competed throughout, as is his habit.”
Junior Patrick Grahek (73-74-147, +7), entered as one of Notre Dame’s three individual players in the field, closed day one tied for eighth place, while freshman Liam Cox (71-77-148, +8) rounded out the Irish players in the tournament's top 10 in solo 10th place.
“I was proud of each freshman for posting a round of 71,” Kubinski said. “Matthew and Liam both played strong stretches of golf from a ball-striking perspective.”
The final round of the Oak Hill Intercollegiate is scheduled to begin on Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. (ET) off the first tee at Oak Hill Country Club. Teams will begin teeing off at number 10 in a split-tee start at 9 a.m.
“We might have some rain coming in tomorrow,” Kubinski said. “It’ll be another good test for us. Our goal isn’t to concern ourselves with scores or results. We’re just looking to get focused for each shot and keep moving forward.”