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    Men's Golf Competes at Marshall Invite

    Irish's Connell tied for third.

    April 10, 1998

    HUNTINGTON, W.V. - Notre Dame sophomore Todd Vernon stands tied for third at the Marshall Invitational following 36 holes of play Friday while the Irish as a team struggled to 13th place heading into Saturday's final round.

    Connell turned in rounds of 70 and 69 at the par-71, 6,446-yard Guyan Golf and Country Club to forge a four-way tie for third, two shots behind co-leaders Kyle Voska (Miami of Ohio) and Sam O'Dell (Marshall). Connell's 69 represents the lowest round of 1997-98 by an Irish golfer while equaling the best round by a Notre Dame golfer in the 1990s (six others have turned in 69s this decade, including three during 1996-97).

    Notre Dame was tied with Northwestern for eighth after firing a first-round 294 in the play-five/count-four format but the Irish slipped five spots after totaling a 301 in the afternoon round. Louisville (305-289) stands just a shot in front of Notre Dame while Michigan (591), Toledo (590), Northwestern (588), Ohio State (587) and Akron (584) remain within range of the Irish, who surged to eighth in the district rankings this week after consecutive strong showings--a team title at the Butler Invitational and a runner-up finish at the Kentucky Intercollegiate.

    Senior co-captain Bryan Weeks turned in rounds of 72 and 75 for the Irish while sophomore Todd Vernon, the team's stroke average leader, carded a 76 and 78. Junior Willie Kent--who had averaged 73.4 strokes per round since joining the Irish this spring--suffered an off-day with rounds of 76 and 81 while junior Brad Hardin turned in matching rounds of 79.

    Weeks has shot 75 or lower in six of his last seven rounds while lowering his career stroke average to 76.32 over the course of 89 rounds--the fourth-best career stroke average by an Irish golfer (since 1954).

    The last time an Irish golfer shot below 69 was in 1977-78, when Tim Saurs and Dave Knee both carded 68s during the course of that season.

    NOTES: The Midwest district committee will select six teams and one individual or five teams and six individuals to represent the district at the NCAA Central Regional tournament, based on several criteria ... the Irish entered the Marshall Tournament having faced 36 of their 42 district opponents, while trailing only six of those teams in head-to-head differential ... if Notre Dame maintains its lead at the Marshall Invitational on Kentucky (+1), Wisconsin (+6) and Eastern Michigan (+12), the Irish will tie the season head-to-head records with each of those teams, 2-2 ... Notre Dame is not scheduled to face UK or EMU again this season but will see the Badgers at next week's OSU Invitational ... UK came into the week with a 32-stroke edge on the Irish while the Badgers had 25 strokes on Notre Dame ... the Irish already were +17 on strokes with EMU coming into the week ... catching Toledo on Saturday could be significant, as the teams entered the week tied 1-1 with the Rockets holding a 14-stroke edge on the Irish ... Notre Dame and Akron also are tied 1-1 in head-to-head, with the Zips holding a six-stroke differential ... Michigan and Notre Dame are tied in head-to-head, with the Irish holding a one-stroke lead ... Notre Dame and Northwestern are competing versus one another for the first time in 1997-98 ... Toledo, Michigan and Northwestern also will play at the OSU tournament but Akron is not scheduled to do so.

    TEAM STANDINGS (36 of 54 holes): 1. Marshall 282-285/567; 2. Miami (OH) 288-288/576; Illinois 284-292/576; 4. Ball State 288-290/578; 5. Indiana 291-189/580; 6. Minnesota 291-290/581; 7. Akron 291-293/584; 8. Ohio State 295-292/587; 9. Northwestern 294-294/588; 10. Toledo 308-282/590; 11. Michigan 300-291/591; 12. Louisville 305-289; 13. Notre Dame 294-301/595; 14. Kentucky 301-296/596; 15. Michigan State 304-294/598; Eastern Kentucky 308-290/598; 17. Ohio 300-300/600; 18. Murray State 302-299/601; Wisconsin 302-299/601; 20. Eastern Michigan 308-299/607.

    TOP INDIVIDUALS (of 100): 1. Kyle Voska (MIA) 65-72/137; Sam O'Dell (MAR) 68-69/137; 3. Jeff Connell (ND) 70-69/139; Michael Harris (MICH) 72-671/39; Jamie Broce (BSU) 69-70/139; Ed Parga (ILL) 68-71/139; 7. Josh Brewer (IND) 71-69/140; 8. A.J. Riley (MAR) 69-72/141; 9. Danny Baron (LOU) 73-69/142; Randy Leen (IND) 71-71/142; Jeff Brown (OSU) 73-69/142.

    OTHER NOTRE DAME SCORES: 34. Bryan Weeks 72-75/247; 77. Todd Vernon 76-78/154; Willie Kent 76-81/157; 93. Brad Hardin 79-79/158.

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