Oct. 8, 2007
DURHAM, N.C. - The Notre Dame men's golf team shot a season-best 284 (-4) and moved up three spots to finish third at the Coca-Cola Duke Golf Classic, which wrapped up Monday afternoon at the Duke Golf Club (par 72/7,063 yards) in Durham, N.C. The Irish wound up with a 54-hole score of seven-under par 857 (287-286-284), its best mark since shooting 856 (-8) at last year's BIG EAST Conference Championship, and Monday's total goes down as the fifth-lowest tournament score in school history. Sixth-ranked Chattanooga and No. 20 Duke shared the title in the 15-team event at 842 (-22), while Chattanooga's Jonathan Hodge earned medalist honors at 12-under par 204.
"I'm so thrilled with the way our guys played this week," Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. "This is the kind of performance I've been expecting from them all season long, but it's the first time we've really been able to put it all together. We started to pick up some momentum late in (Sunday's) second round and that just carried over so well to our final round.
"We didn't dwell on last week (tie for eighth at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic)," he added. "That's been our motto all year, to just keep looking forward. We came out focused and got some very solid scores from one through four in our lineup. That's the kind of depth we've been looking for during the past year or so, and we'll look to keep building on this the rest of the season."
Freshman Tyler Hock (Ocala, Fla./Forest) capped off an outstanding performance in his debut with the Notre Dame travel squad, tying for 11th place in the 84-man field at a season-low three-under par 213 (76-68-69). Playing for the first time back in his home state, junior Josh Sandman (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) matched Hock's final-round effort and posted his own season-best score of 213 (71-73-69). Senior tri-captain Greg Rodgers (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul's School) jumped up into a tie for 15th place with a career-low score of two-under par 214 (70-74-70), two strokes better than his previous best mark of 216 that he shot as a freshman at the 2004 Nelson Invitational (held on a shortened par-69 Stanford Golf Course that was being renovated). It's also the second top-20 outing of the year for Rodgers, who posted a career-best tie for seventh at the season-opening Gopher Invitational.
Sophomore Doug Fortner (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) earned his third top-20 finish in as many events this fall, tying for 20th place at one-over par 217 (70-71-76) after succumbing to the 90-degree heat late in Monday's final round with five bogies in his final six holes. Senior tri-captain Eddie Peckels (Pinehurst, N.C./Pope John Paul II (Fla.)) was the other Irish golfer in this weekend's lineup, ending up tied for 80th place at 17-over par 233 (77-79-77).
Notre Dame returns to action Oct. 21-23 in Franklin, Tenn., at the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate, which will be hosted by Vanderbilt University at the Legends Club of Tennessee.
Coca-Cola Duke Golf Classic
FINAL TEAM RESULTS (54-hole totals): 1. (tie) Chattanooga 842 (280-282-280) and Duke 842 (287-273-282); 3. NOTRE DAME 857 (287-286-284); 4. (tie) Ohio State 858 (285-281-292) and Virginia Tech 858 (277-290-291); 6. Old Dominion 859 (282-287-290); 7. East Carolina 870 (285-289-296); 8. Maryland 874 (297-282-295); 9. Virginia Commonwealth 875 (299-280-296); 10. UNC Wilmington 876 (293-281-302); 11. Houston 877 (296-296-285); 12. Iowa 882 (292-294-296); 13. Florida Southern 887 (297-290-300); 14. UNC Greensboro 888 (296-295-297); 15. Winthrop 906 (299-303-304).
TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME FINISHERS (of 84): 1. Jonathan Hodge (Chatt) 204 (67-70-67); 2. Eric Onesi (ODU) 207 (69-71-67); 3. Adam Long (Duke) 208 (70-68-70); 4. (tie) Michael Schachner (Duke) 209 (71-66-72) and Patrick Simard (OSU) 209 (66-72-71); 11. (tie) Tyler Hock (ND) 213 (76-68-69) and Josh Sandman (ND) 213 (71-73-69); 15. (tie) Greg Rodgers (ND) 214 (70-74-70); 20. (tie) Doug Fortner (ND) 217 (70-71-76); 80. (tie) Eddie Peckels (ND) 233 (77-79-77).