Oct. 19, 1998
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Notre Dame men's golf team posted a four-man score of even-par 288 to jump into first place at the University of Louisville Intercollegiate, following first-round action Monday at the par-72, 6,850-yard Persimmon Ridge Golf Course.
Notre Dame's strong first round gives the Irish an eight-stroke lead on second-place Illinois (296) heading into Tuesday's second and final round. The 20-team tournament is crucial to Notre Dame's positioning within the Midwest District, as the team's only remaining fall tournament is the BIG EAST Championship (Oct. 31-Nov. 1).
Freshman Kyle Monfort (Dublin, Ohio) continued his stellar play by firing a two-under 70, the best opening round in the 104-player field. Monfort's previous outing saw him shoot a four-under 71 at the Legends of Indiana Intercollegiate on Oct. 6, with that round representing the best by a Notre Dame golfer in 20 years.
Irish senior captain Brad Hardin (Martinsville, Ind.) is tied with Larry Huger of Illinois for second in the tournament after firing an opening-round 71. Junior Jeff Connell (La Crosse, Wis.) stands just a shot back as one of three players tied for fourth at even-par 72.
The even-par round equals the third-best in Notre Dame history, trailing only the one-under 283 at last year's Marshall Invitational and the one-under 287 earlier this season at the Air Force Invitational. The only other even-par round by a Notre Dame golf team in the last 33 years was a 284 at the 1994-95 Legends of Indiana.
Junior co-captain Todd Vernon (Englewood, Colo.) rounded out the Irish score with a round of 75 while senior Willie Kent (Asuncion, Paraguay) suffered an uncharacteristic 80, his second-worst score in 23 rounds with the Irish (he shot a second-round 81 at last spring's Marshall Invitational).
Other teams within striking distance of Notre Dame include Marshall (304), Xavier (306) and Ohio (307).
TEAM STANDINGS (18 holes of 36): 1. Notre Dame 288; 2. Illinois 296; 3. Marshall 304; 4. Xavier 306; 5. Ohio 307; 6. Ball State 310; 7. Louisville 311; 8. Eastern Michigan 313; Kentucky 313; Cincinnati 313; 11. Marquette 314; 12. Youngstown State 315; 13. Wright State 318; Eastern Kentucky 318; Western Kentucky 318; 16. DePaul 319; Morehead State 319; 18. Akron 321; 19. Murray State 331; 20. Saint Louis 333.
TOP INDIVIDUALS (of 140): 1. Kyle Monfort (ND) 70; 2. Brad Hardin (ND) 71; Larry Huger (ILL) 71; 4. Jeff Connell (ND) 72; Jimmy McKensie (MAR) 72; Chad Meldrum (DEP) 72; 7. Junichi Hayasha (WRI) 73; Bill Lowry (YOU) 73.
OTHER NOTRE DAME SCORES: 15. Todd Vernon 75; 52. Willie Kent 80.