Golfers Open In Eighth At Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Colorado men's golf team opened the fall portion of its 2022-23 season here Sunday with two under par team rounds to sit in eighth place through 36 holes of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Invitational.
Colorado, the only team in the field competing without a single upperclassman (four sophomores and a true freshman) is near the back end of a seven-team logjam, as only six strokes separate the third through ninth places. Florida leads with a 17-under 543 score, with North Carolina two back at 545 as the Atlantic Coast Conference duo created a little separation in Sunday's second round. Georgia Southern and LSU are tied for third with 552 scores.
The Buffs turned in rounds of 279 and 276 for a 5-under 555 total; it marked just the sixth time in program history CU opened a season with back-to-back subpar rounds, the first time on a par-70 course. The Buffs were tied for third after the morning round, played mostly during light rainfall, nine behind Florida going into the second 18.
Sophomore Dylan McDermott, who finished third in this event a year ago, led the Buffs Sunday and is once again flirting with medalist honors. He's tied for third after a 69-66—135 performance (5-under), as he had 11 birdies and 21 pars against three bogeys and an unfortunate triple he suffered on a par-3. He's just two out of the lead as he is tied foe the lead with the 11 birds and also leads the 84-man field in par four scoring, as he is 7-under on the 24 par-4 holes combined through two rounds on the 7,023-yard, par-70 Warren Golf Course layout.
True freshman Hunter Swanson opened up his collegiate career with two solid rounds, tallying a 71-67—138 (2-under) score in tying for 22nd entering Monday. He matched McDermott for the tourney lead in birdies with 11 and had 19 pars while scoring three bogeys and three doubles. All three of the latter coming in the first round, including on his first-ever college hole, but he gained all those strokes back by scoring six of his birdies in the same round. He played the four par-5s Monday at 3-under, tied for fourth-best in the event.
Among other freshmen competing here, he's third at present in the standings.
Sophomore Justin Biwer was consistent as usual, fashioning a 70-69—139 effort to stand tied for 27th. He had six birdies and 26 pars with just three bogeys and a double. He started each round with an early bogey and in the morning, was 3-over after he doubled his fifth hole of the day. From that point on, he played the day at 4-under, including four birdies over his final nine holes the first time around the track.
Sophomore Tucker Clark, who transferred to CU from Notre Dame earlier this summer, is tied for 50th with a 3-over 143 score (69-74). He had four birdies and 27 pars with three bogeys and two doubles. He was undone a bit late in the second round where he played a four-hole stretch (Nos. 5 through 8) at four over, otherwise he was even or 1-under par for most of the day in his return to South Bend.
Sophomore Jack Hughes is 79th after posting a 75-77—152 (12-over) scorecard; he had three birdies and 22 pars opposite eight bogeys, two doubles and a triple. He was over par early in both rounds, but ended both with his birdies – one in the morning and the two in the afternoon. He played the par-3s better than any of his teammates – 1-under – which was also tied for sixth-best in the field.
"Overall, it was a good start to the season, especially after a bit of a rocky start," said CU head coach Roy Edwards. "We made a lot of birdies today and had some good golf from almost everyone. Dylan was spectacular for 35 holes that also included a great finish. Justin was very consistent as usual, Tucker was good in his debut for us, and Hunter did a tremendous job in his first collegiate tournament. Jack just wasn't himself, but had a good finish and will be ready to go tomorrow.
"We are in a good spot to play well."
Colorado will be paired with Iowa State and Indiana for the third and final round, and will tee off on No. 1 starting at 6:00 a.m. MDT.
NOTES: Five of the six opening pair of subpar team scores have come under Edwards (2011-12, 2012-13, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2022-23); the other came in 1979-80 … The average score for all 168 rounds Sunday was 71.13 (71.75 in the morning and 70.50 in the afternoon) … The Buffs played the par-3s at 4-over (tied for eighth in the field), the par-4s at 7-over (fifth) and the par-5's at 4-under (12th) … CU is tied for fourth in birdies (35; Florida leads with 40) and is tied for eighth in pars (115, Notre Dame has the most with 124).
|T1.||Dylan Menante, North Carolina||65-68—133|
|T1.||Quentin Debove, Florida||65-68—133|
|T3.||Dylan McDermott, Colorado||69-66—135|
|T3.||John DuBois, Florida||67-68—135|