Oct. 28, 2013
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. - The University of Notre Dame men's golf team bested the course average for the second consecutive round, gaining five shots during a second round 296 Monday at The Invitational at The Ocean Course. The Irish sit in fifth place in the team standings at 597 (301-296), just four strokes behind No. 8 Georgia entering the final day of play.
"It was nice to see a couple more good rounds today," Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. "Niall (Platt) and Patrick (Grahek) really played well. Cory (Sciupider) hit the ball extremely well, leaving just a few on the course around the green. Those easily could come his way tomorrow."
The senior tri-captain Platt flew out of the gates with three birdies in his first four holes on the front nine, capped with a three at the par 4, 453-yard fourth hole to move to three-under-par for the day. A closing birdie at the par 4 ninth to offset a bogey two holes earlier gave Platt an outward score of 33 (-3).
A stretch of three bogeys in six holes on the back nine dropped Platt back to even par for his round, but the Santa Barbara, Calif. native responded with a birdie at the 540-yard 16th hole to close with a one-under-par 71 and move into a tie for 14th place (76-71-147, +3). Platt is a cumulative two-under on the par 4s at The Ocean Course during the first two rounds of the tournament.
After going out with a one-over-par 37 on his front nine, Grahek made six straight pars on his back nine before notching a birdie at the par 5 16th to move his round back to even par. The junior from Alpharetta, Ga. added pars at 17 and 18 to post a second day score of 72 (E) for a share of 35th place (80-72-152).
Sciupider picked up the first Notre Dame eagle of the tournament, finding the bottom of the cup in only three shots at 16. The Irish sophomore also birdied his first hole of the round as part of a four-over-par 76 (78-76-154) to tie for 47th place through 36 holes.
Junior Tyler Wingo, who entered the day one stroke out of the tournament lead after a brilliant four-under 68 Sunday, was three-over par after his first two holes in round two, but righted the ship with 14 pars over his final 16 holes to finish in a tie for seventh place (68-77-145, +1) entering the final round.
"Tyler has done a great job," Kubinski said. "I'm proud of him shaking off a strange start to play pretty well today. He just didn't make the birdies, but he hit another 13 greens to give him a total of 30 for the tournament."
Freshman Matt Rushton was in the midst of a two-over par round stepping to the par 3 17th tee, but a plugged lie in a bunker led to his second shot finding the water, ultimately yielding a triple bogey on the scorecard. A strong bounce-back par at 18 gave Rushton a five-over 77 and a share of 57th place (79-77-156). Competing unattached, fellow freshman Blake Barens shaved 11 strokes off his day one score to post a second day 77.
South Florida's Richard James saw his 34-hole streak without a bogey snapped after taking a four at the par 3 17th hole, but a total of six birdies on his round two card propelled him to a two-stroke lead at eight-under-par (69-67-136). Kentucky's Cody Martin utilized a second round 68 to work into the runner-up position (70-68-138, -6), while Georgia's Joey Garner tied the tournament record with a six-under-par 66 to claim third place (73-66-139, -5). South Florida's Chase Koepka (72-69) and overnight leader J.T. Poston from Western Carolina (67-74) are in a share for fourth place at 141.
South Florida fired the only under-par team round Monday, carding a 285 to take a five-stroke lead into the tournament's third day (291-285-576). Kentucky claimed the second position after a round of 293 (288-293-581), with South Alabama in third place at 588 (294-294). Georgia is just four strokes ahead of Notre Dame after posting a two-day total of 593 (297-296).
The final round of The Invitational at The Ocean Course is scheduled to begin with an 8 a.m. (ET) shotgun start on Tuesday.
The Invitational at The Ocean Course-Kiawah Island, S.C.-Par-72, 7,080 Yds.
TOP-10 TEAMS (After Round 2): 1. South Florida 291-285-576, E; 2. Kentucky 288-293-581, +5; 3. South Alabama 294-294-588, +12; T4. Georgia 297-296-593, +17; 5. Notre Dame 301-296-597, +21; 6. College of Charleston 306-293-599, +23; 7. Georgia Southern 302-298-600, +24; 8. Florida 300-303-603, +27; T9. Western Carolina 304-301-605, +29; T9. Rice 311-294-605, +29.
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS (After Round 2): 1. Richard James (South Florida) 69-67-136, -8; 2. Cody Martin (Kentucky) 70-68-138, -6; 3. Joey Garber (Georgia) 73-66-139, -5; T4. Chase Koepka (South Florida) 72-69-141, -3; T4. J.T. Poston (Western Carolina) 67-74-141, -3; 6. Tyler Klava (South Alabama) 70-74-144, E; T7. Will Evans (Georgia Southern) 76-69-145, +1; T7. Kevin Reilly (Rice) 79-66-145, +1; T7. Tyler Wingo (Notre Dame) 68-77-145, +1; T10. Lukas Crisp (Francis Marion) 71-75-146, +2; T10. David Denlinger (Charleston Southern) 70-76-146, +2; T10. Michael Garretson (South Alabama) 74-72-146, +2; T10. John Jonas (College of Charleston) 75-71-146, +2.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (After Round 2): T7. Tyler Wingo 68-77-145, +1; T14. Niall Platt 76-71-147, +3; T35. Patrick Grahek 80-72-152, +8; T47. Cory Sciupider 78-76-154, +10; T57. Matt Rushton 79-77-156, +12; T75. Blake Barens * 88-77-165, +21.
*- played as an individual
-- Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant