May 17, 2014
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. - University of Notre Dame men's golf senior Niall Platt carded a one-over 73 on the final day of the 2014 NCAA Sugar Grove Regionals Saturday afternoon to complete the three-day tournament in a tie for 34th place with a 14-over 230 (80-77-73).
Platt, who shot an 80 on day one Thursday, showed improvement every single day on the par 72, 7,151-yard Rich Harvest Farms course to move from 47th place to 34th. Ranked 99th in the country, Platt bested three ranked golfers.
"I was happy to see Niall finish up his college career with a strong round," Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. "The scoring average for the field was 77 today, so 73 was a nice job. If he were to do it all over again, I think he'd play number 17 differently but he played very well otherwise. He missed only one drive all day, on a course with several tight tee shots, and finally made some putts. I didn't recognize him on the greens the first two days but was happy to see Niall Platt putting today."
The Santa Barbara, Calif., native recorded four birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey in his final round. He went out -1 and came back in at +2
His favorite hole on the weekend proved to be the par-five, 552-yard second hole as he birdied it all three days. He finished the weekend with 10 birdies, 18 bogeys and three double bogeys.
"That's the thing about Rich Harvest Farms and the NCAA format in general," Kubinski said. "At the finals, you get multiple days to learn the course and get comfortable. At regionals, you get one day. I thought Niall looked increasingly comfortable each day.
"This was a course with small margins and a few quirky shots," he added. "Niall figured it out today. It wasn't enough to advance, after a tough start the first 36, but I'm proud of how he just keeps going and always competes."
The regional wrapped up a stellar year for Platt, who earned all-ACC honors just a few short weeks ago.
UAB and Illinois tied for the team title as they both finished at +16. Illinois standout Brian Campbell (No. 48) was the individual medalist as he shot a five-under 211 to out-pace the field by four strokes.
"We send Niall off to begin a career in professional golf with great appreciation for all he has meant to our program," Kubinski said. "He has represented the interlocking ND as well as any player we've had on and off the course, achieved a great deal in the classroom and posted an all-time team scoring average. He exemplifies what true student-athletes are about and what we strive to be as a program."