April 30, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. - The University of Notre Dame men's golf team posted the best team round of the tournament, firing a final round eight-under par 280 Tuesday to finish in third place at the BIG EAST Championship on the Watson Course at Reunion Resort.
The Irish improved 16 strokes from their second round performance, closing the tournament at even par (288-296-280-864). Three Notre Dame players closed the tournament with under par rounds, the most for the Irish in a single round during the event. The final round 280 was the program's seventh-best round since the 1966 season.
Freshman Cory Sciupider enjoyed the best score in relation to par of his collegiate career, carding a sparkling 67 (-5) to place in solo third at 211 (72-72-67). Sciupider birdied seven holes in his final 18, including all four of the par-5's on the Watson Course, to pace the Irish lineup.
The Irish rookie led the field in par-3 scoring (2.75, -3) and was second among the tournament's 60 competitors in total birdies (15).
Junior Niall Platt (fifth) recorded his top 54-hole outing this season firing a two-under-par 214 (71-74-69). Platt caught fire on the back nine of the final round, gathering five birdies and four pars for a five-under par 31 after starting two-over on the front nine. Platt logged three straight birdies on holes 13-15. It was the Notre Dame co-captains best third round score in seven tournaments played during the 2012-13 slate.
Platt finished third in par-3 scoring (2.92, -1), sixth in pars made (33) and fifth in the field birdie count (12).
Senior Paul McNamara III (70-74-78) and freshman Zach Toste (75-76-71) each tied for 25th place, posting scores of six-over-par 222.
McNamara finished the final nine holes one-under par, paring six straight holes before reaching the bottom of the cup on hole 18 (par-4) in three strokes. The co-captain picked up his fifth top-25 finish this season, achieving a total of eight birdies through the three-day outing.
Toste's scorecard was nearly spotless in his final round, surrendering a double bogey on hole nine after starting the third day with a birdie on No. 1 and paring the following seven holes. The Irish newcomer wrapped up his final eight holes at three under, highlighted by three straight birdies on holes 12-14.
Toste ranked fifth in the tournament in birdies, acquiring 11 through 54 holes played.
Junior Andrew Lane placed 55th after carding a final round one-over par, 73. Lane made eagle on No. 8 (par 5, 581 yards) and followed up with five straight pars before making a birdie on hole 14 (par 5, 522 yards).
USF registered a six-under-par, 858 to take the team title, followed by St. John's, who was the runner-up after carding a two-under-par 862.
Cincinnati's David Tepe (208/-8) was the tournament medalist, defeating USF's Chase Koepka by a single stroke.
Notre Dame Head Coach Jim Kubinski
On the difference of this tournament from the rest this season ... "The guys did a great job today of something I call trusting aggressively. The most important thing in our game is committing to the shot you're about to play. Our team did a great job of that today. It's easy to talk about, as we have all season, but doing so is something that was great to see."
On the final tournament this season ... "I'm really proud of our guys. We started the season with a very young team, having graduated 60 percent of our lineup last May. This team kept learning and never lost belief in themselves. We came up a little short today, but posted the low round on the first day and the low round of any team in any round today. We let some easy shots go yesterday but, again, our guys put that behind them and came out today with the season's best performance."
On how the freshmen performed ... "Our freshmen made this run possible. They gave us a real chance today. South Florida just made several birdies coming in, which is a credit to them. Cory finishing 3rd is extremely significant. I believe it's a best-ever finish at BIG EAST for a freshman. His ceiling is very, very high. I loved the way he handled his emotions today, better than at any point this season. Making seven birdies in one round is pretty rare. Great job by "Scoops."
On senior Paul McNamara III ... "Paul got us off to a good start. His 70 was a solid round. He may have pressed a little to finish but he had a pretty good season for us and made several contributions."