Oct. 26, 2010
SEASIDE, Calif. - The University of Notre Dame men's golf team wrapped up its fall season on Tuesday with a victory at the St. Mary's Invitational at the Bayonet and Blackhorse Golf Club in Seaside, Calif. Tom Usher (Bradford, England) helped the Irish cause, earning medalist honors with a four-under par (212) performance over the two days.
The Irish entered the day with a 16-shot advantage and, with the help of a 291 (+3), widened the margin to 20 shots for their first win of the fall season. Overall, the team finished at three-under par (861), marking the third-straight tournament finishing with an under-par team score. The host St. Mary's Gaels finished second at 881 (+17).
This marks the first time in program history that the Irish have started the season with five consecutive top-two finishes.
After struggling on his opening nine holes of the day, Usher bounced back on the back nine and carded a four-under par (32) to climb back to even for the day, including three straight birdies on holes 10 through 12. His third round 72 helped him hold on for medalist honors by two strokes, finishing with a two-day total of 212 (-4).
"I'm really proud of Tom," Irish coach Jim Kubinski said. "This is his first outright tournament victory. He shared BIG EAST medalist honors last season, but this is the first time he's gotten to experience a solo victory. He's always had the heart of a lion on the golf course and it was really neat to see him play so well today and all tournament. He actually was in the pairing with the golfer he was competing with for the title and had fallen two or three shots back, but he competed and tracked him down for the victory."
A week after earning his highest finish to-date with the Irish, Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) topped it by earning sole possession of third place at even par (216). He played his final round at even par (72), finishing the back nine at one under (35) including back-to-back birdies on holes 10 and 11.
Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.) represented the third Irish golfer in the top five, finishing in a share for fourth at 217 (+1). Scodro recorded the lone under-par round for the Irish on Tuesday at one-under par (71), aided by five birdies. For the fall season, Scodro finished in the top 10 on four occasions and top 25 in all five events.
Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) carded the last score for the Irish rotation on the final day with a four-over par 76, including four birdies on the round. He, like Walker, earned his career-high finish to-date with the Irish in a tie for seventh at two-over par (218).
Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) rounded out the Irish five, posting a final round 80 (+8). He concluded the tournament at 15-over par (231), good for a share of 57th.
"I've really liked the way all of our guys have competed this year so far," Kubinski stated. "It was really a great feeling to get that team victory today, because even though the second-place finishes have been nice, it was good to kind of get that monkey off our backs and prove to ourselves that we can win.
"We hit some bumps in the road today but we were always able to rebound and actually widened our margin before the round was all said and done," Kubinski continued. "So I can't say enough about the guys for just continuing to compete."
Individually, Connor Alan-Lee (Solana Beach, Calif.) finished his tournament with a 74 (+2) along with posting three birdies on the day. Overall, he finished in a tie for 26th at eight-over par (224).
Notre Dame now enters into its winter offseason before returning to the course in the spring at The Match Play on Feb. 10-12 at the TPC of Tampa Bay in Lutz, Fla.
St. Mary's Invitational - Bayonet Golf Course - Par 72 - 7,117 yards
Top-Five Team Scores (54-hole totals): 1. NOTRE DAME (-2/861); 2. St. Mary's (Calif.) (+17/881); 3. Pacific (+18/882); 4. Santa Clara (+22/886); 5. Nevada (+25/889)
Top-Six Golfers (54-hole totals): 1. Tom Usher (NOTRE DAME/212); 2. Scott Smith (Nevada/214); 3. Chris Walker (NOTRE DAME/216); t4. Max Scodro (NOTRE DAME/217); t4. Nathan Sutherland (Miami (OH)/217); t4. Scott Travers (Santa Clara/217)
Notre Dame Scores (54-hole totals): 1. Tom Usher (68-72-72-212); 3. Chris Walker (73-71-72-216); t4. Max Scodro (72-74-71-217); t7. Paul McNamara III (68-74-76-218);t26. Connor Alan-Lee (81-69-74-224); t57. Niall Platt (79-72-80-231)