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McDermott Claims Medalist Honors At Fighting Irish Classic

Sep 5, 2022
McDermott with trophy and Notre Dame head coach John Handrigan.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Colorado men's golf team recorded a solid performance here Monday in its 2022-23 season with a fifth place finish in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Invitational, but the story of the day for the Buffaloes was an individual win with a record-setting performance by sophomore Dylan McDermott.
Florida let from wire-to-wire in winning with a 21-under par 819 score, holding off a charge from Georgia Southern, which was 12-under par for the final round to jump into second with an 820 total.  North Carolina slipped into third (821), with host Notre Dame fourth (821).  The Buffaloes nabbed fifth with a third straight subpar round of their own, finishing with a 7-under 833 score.
McDermott, who hails from Granite Bay, Calif., turned in a 10-under par, 69-66-65—200 scorecard over the three rounds here on the 7,023-yard, par-70 Warren Golf Course layout, setting a CU record for the lowest gross score, whether it was a par-70, par-71 or par-72 configuration.  In doing so, he took over the top spot in the tournament when he birdied Nos. 15 and 17 coming into the club house.
McDermott was caught late by North Carolina's David Ford, who had two birdies and an eagle in his final five holes to finish with a 6-under 64 to force a playoff for the trophy; both get credit for a win.  Both players scored par on No. 1, the first playoff hole (372-yard, par-4), and then moved to No. 6 (473-yard, par-4), where both players landed in a green-side bunker and went on to bogey; Ford missed a 10-foot putt for the win.  The duo then played No. 1 again, where both made par from about 15 feet to go back to No. 6; McDermott two-putted from about 15 feet while Ford made bogey.
"Dylan was obviously really good from start to finish," said CU head coach Roy Edwards.  "He took a big step forward and did an incredible job in the playoff.  Both players had chances to win and he just kept in it.  He hit a great approach into the fourth playoff hole and all he needed was two putts for the win. 
"The impressive thing about the playoff is that he was very steady emotionally and recognized that he had a lot of adrenalin going," Edwards continued.  "Normally someone might not realize that, and his heart might have been beating quickly, but he was in the zone emotionally and that allowed him to trust his abilities."
McDermott is the first Buff to win a major tournament since Daniel O'Loughlin won CU's Mark Simpson Invitational in 2019; it's also the first by a CU duffer in an out-of-state tourney since Yannik Paul claimed honors in the 2018 Arizona State Sun Devil Thunderbird Invitational (he shot an 11-under 202 in that event, now the third-lowest gross score at CU).
He closed with a solid round of six birdies and 11 pars with just one bogey, which he scored on the par-4 6th hole, but he came right back and birdied the par-4 7th.  For the tourney, he led the 84-man field in both birdies (17) and par-4 scoring (9-under), while tying for sixth in par-5 scoring (4-under).  He had 32 pars and just five holes worse than par (four bogeys and a triple).
"My irons were really clicking for me, it allowed me to have a lot of short birdie putts and that really helped," McDermott said.  "I think I had one long one, the others were inside of 10 feet.  It means a lot to win – I had a chance here last year and finished third.  I've been gunning for a win for over a year now – the goal of any college golfer."
He went to the range in anticipation of a possible playoff, and knew that the playoff holes would likely be Nos. 1 and 6.  The fact that he had bogeyed the 6th was in the back of his mind. 
"I practiced on the range before I knew what holes we were playing, but I did specifically practice for holes 1 and 6, which really worked out well for me.  I corrected what went wrong on 6, and the shots I was practicing turned out to be the ones I used in the playoff."
In finishing in the bronze spot last year, he recorded a 7-under 203, thus is 17-under for 108 holes on the Warren Course.  He attributed it to the fact that he's left-handed.  "The course really suits a lefty, a lot of right to left tee shots."
Sophomore Justin Biwer fashioned a final round even-par 70, giving him a 1-under 209 for a 70-69—139 effort to tie for 21st.  He had three birdies and 12 pars opposite three bogeys Tuesday, and had nine birds and tied for the lead in pars with 38 (the 10th-most in the field).  Picking up where he left off as a freshman, it was his ninth tournament with a subpar score out of 12 overall, with one other where he finished even.
True freshman Hunter Swanson tied for 32nd in his first collegiate tournament, as he finished with a 3-over 73 that gave him a 1-over 211 for the 54 holes.  He had 13 birdies, which tied for sixth-most in the field, with 31 pars in his inaugural effort.  He finished fourth among the dozen freshmen that competed here, while his 211 is the second-lowest gross score in a first-ever college tournament by a Buff, second only to the 209 that Jack Hughes put up in last year's Air Force Miranda Individual.
Sophomore Tucker Clark, who transferred to CU from Notre Dame in July, finished up with an even-par 70 that had him at 3-over 213, tying him for 41st.  He had the Buffs' lone eagle in the event Tuesday, along with two birdies and 11 pars and four bogeys, with his 38 pars for the week matching Biwer and tying for 10th in the event.
Hughes, a sophomore, closed with his best round here – a 3-over 73 – which had him tie for 76th with a 15-over 225 total.  He wrapped things with three birdies and 10 pars against four birdies and a double.  He did play the par-3s even overall (13th-best in the field).
"This was a really good way to start the season, and was very proud of the team and our competitiveness," said Edwards.  "We saw a lot of good golf across the board.  Justin was his usual steady self, and Hunter and Tucker had nice debuts as Buffaloes.  Jack had a nice day today and that should be a springboard for him to the season."
Colorado returns to action later this week in the Air Force Miranda Invitational in Colorado Springs, which takes place Saturday through Monday at AFA's Eisenhower Blue Golf Course, which is right next to Falcon Stadium.  With the football team playing at Air Force at 1:30, fans are welcome to watch the golf as CU will tee off in the morning.

NOTES: In the most recent WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings) of August 31, McDermott came in ranked 1,059th and bested three in the top 20: North Carolina's Dylan Menante (ranked 7th) and Ford (16th) and Florida's Ricky Castillo (19th) along with several others, including teammate Biwer (515th).  The previous record for the low gross score in CU annals was a 9-under 201 (64-67-70), set by Beau Schoolcraft in the 2011 Wyoming Cowboy Classic at Scottsdale … Colorado was the only team in the field competing without a single upperclassman (four sophomores and a true freshman) … They responded by being the first team in CU history to score three subpar round in a 54-hole tournament that took place on a par-70 course … The average score for all 252 rounds 71.37 (the final round had the high of 71.87) … The Buffs played the par-3s at 7-over (tied for seventh in the field), the par-4s at 10-over (fifth) and the par-5's at 9-under (eighth) … CU had the fourth-most birdies (51; Florida led with 57) and the seventh-most pars (171; Kansas had the high with 183).

  T1. Dylan McDermott  69-66-65—200
T21. Justin Biwer  70-69-70—209
T32. Hunter Swanson  71-67-73—211
T41. Tucker Clark  69-74-70—213
T76. Jack Hughes  75-77-73—225




 1.  *Dylan McDermott, Colorado  69-66-65—200
 1.  David Ford, North Carolina  72-64-64—200
 3.  Mason Williams, Georgia Southern  67-70-64—201
 4.  Ben Carr, Georgia Southern  70-66-66—202
 5.  Quentin Debove, Florida  65-68-70—203
 5.  Dylan Menante, North Carolina  65-68-70—203

(*—won playoff on fourth hole.)

  1.  Florida  270-273-276—819
  2.  Georgia Southern  277-275-268—820
  3.  North Carolina  279-266-276—821 
  4.  Notre Dame  283-270-271—824
  5.  COLORADO  279-276-278—833
  6.  LSU  280-272-285—837
  7.  Indiana  281-273-284—838
  8.  Kansas  280-274-290—844
  8.  Michigan State  286-278-280—844
10.  California  279-283-285—847
11.  Iowa State  283-275-292—850
12.    Iowa  293-278-288—859
13.  Utah  294-283-284—861
14.  Kent State  284-283-296—863
15.  Virginia Tech  289-295-291—875