May 5, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame senior tri-captain Niall Platt has earned a bid to the regional stage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, the tournament championship committee announced on Monday. Platt was one of five individuals selected to compete at the NCAA Sugar Grove (Ill.) Regional, hosted by Northern Illinois, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
The 54-hole regional tournament will be contested on the par 72, 7,151-yard layout on May 15-17. A Wednesday practice round will begin with tee times at 9 a.m. (ET), with the first two rounds to follow on Thursday and Friday with tee times slated to start at 9 a.m. Saturday’s final round is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m.
Platt is only the second golfer in program history, joining Josh Sandman (’10), to be chosen as an individual competitor for an NCAA Regional. Sandman finished in the top 65 of 141 players at the 2008 NCAA Central Regional at the Ohio State Scarlet Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio.
“It’s great to see Niall rewarded for what has been a tremendous season for him individually,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “You look at his 71.85 scoring average and can’t grasp just how terrific that was. We played tough golf courses all year, many having served as major championship venues. Events like Talis Park, too, with the wind gusting to 35 miles per hour for two days, and you realize just how good his scoring average was.
“To count in the team (scoring) total in all 33 rounds this season says a lot about one’s approach,” Kubinski added. “When teammates expect and need a strong number from you and you deliver time and time again, it requires physical skill, of course, but also a strong and effective mental game. I just can’t say enough about Niall’s growth in this way over the years.”
Platt will make his third start in an NCAA Regional tournament during his Notre Dame career, and his first since taking part in the 2012 NCAA Central Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Santa Barbara, Calif. native was the top Irish finisher in NCAA competition as a freshman, carding a three-round score of six-under-par 210 (68-69-73) to tie for 10th place at the 2011 NCAA Southeast Regional in Ocala, Fla.
The current holder of the best career scoring average (73.08) in Irish men’s golf history, Platt posted four top five, five top 10 and 10 total top 25 finishes during 11 starts in his final regular season at Notre Dame. He excelled during the spring tournament slate, bringing home his second career victory after shooting a one-under score of 209 (71-66-72) at the Oak Hill Invitational on April 21-22. Platt added a tie for second place (209, -4) at April’s Irish Creek Collegiate and a tie for third place (217, +1) at the Talis Park Challenge in March.
“I know he’s excited for the opportunity at Rich Harvest Farms,” Kubinski said. “Niall can play with anyone in the field. He has NCAA experience, too, having competed for our team in both 2011 and 2012. It’s just a matter of an inch here or there, those couple of putts dropping.
“I know he’ll bring his typical approach and compete out there,” Kubinski said. “We’re just thrilled to have Niall carry that Notre Dame bag, representing our program and all of the hard work done by so many, at the NCAA Championship this year.”