PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Notre Dame captured both the men’s and women’s 2011 BIG EAST Golf Championship titles following the final round of competition at Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., on Tuesday. The women finished with a three-round total of 902 to beat second-place Louisville by 13 strokes. The men shot had a 54-hole total of 876 to top the second-place Cardinals by six strokes. It is the second time that the Irish have won both titles in the same season and the first time since 2004.
The Notre Dame women won their fourth BIG EAST team title and their first since 2008. The Irish carded a 310 in the final round. The 13 stroke-win is the fourth-largest margin of victory in the history of the championship. Four Irish players finished in the top 10 in the individual standings, including freshman Kristina Nhim who led the team in third place after carding 222 (+6) for the championship. Junior Becca Huffer finished fourth with a 54-hole score of 223 (+7), senior So Hyun Park placed seventh with a score of 229 (+13) and senior Katie Conway placed 11th with a score of 233 (+17)
The Cardinals have finished in the top two at the BIG EAST Championship in all six seasons that they have been members of the conference. This is only the second time UofL has finished in second to go along with four team titles. Louisville carded 915 for the championship including a 305 in the final round. The Cardinals were led by sophomore Anna-Karin Ljungstrom, who finished in a tie for first with a three-round total of 221 (+5). Ljungstrom would finish second after losing to St. John’s freshman Harin Lee in a playoff.
USF placed third after playing its best round on the final day. The Bulls shot 309 in the third round, finishing with a 54-hole total of 934. Sophomore Shena Yang led USF in fifth place, carding 225 (+9) for the championship. Georgetown took fourth with a score of 951.
For the first time in the history of the BIG EAST Women’s Golf Championship, the individual title was decided in a playoff. After four playoff holes, St. John’s Lee topped Louisville’s Ljungstrom to take the individual title. The two matched each other through the first three playoff holes, playing holes 17, 18 and one. The pair then went to the par-five second hole, where Lee made par to clinch the crown. Lee is the first Red Storm player to win the individual title in the 11-year history of the BIG EAST Women’s Championship.
The Notre Dame men won their seventh BIG EAST team title after shooting a final round score of 293. It was the first title for the Irish since 2006. Three Irish players finished in the top 10, led by individual champion, junior Max Scodro. Scodro finished with a 54-hole total of 212 (-1) after firing a 69 in the final round, which tied for the lowest single round of the tournament. The junior is the first Notre Dame golfer to win the individual title since Mark Baldwin in 2005 and the fifth Irish player all-time.
Scodro was locked in a three-way tie with freshman teammate Niall Platt and Louisville senior Karsten Clements entering the final round of play. Scodro separated himself from the pack early in the round, registering birdies on three of the first four holes, including dropping a 20-foot putt on hole four. He was one of two players to shoot under par in the final round and the only player to finish under par for the championship. Platt finished in a tie for sixth with a three-round score of 218 (+5) while sophomore Paul McNamara tied for 10th with a score of 222 (+9).
Louisville finished with a score of 882 after shooting a 292 in the final round, the team’s best round of the championship. Clements led the team with a 54-hole score of 214 (+1), shooting 71 on the final day. Junior Chris Biuso was the other top-20 finisher for Louisville, shooting a 75 in the final round to finish with a 223 (+10) for the championship.
Villanova came on strong in the final two rounds to take home third place. The Wildcats, who shot a 293 in the second round, followed that with a 295 in the final round to finish with a 54-hole total of 889. Three Wildcats tied for 10th in the individual standings with a score of 222 (+9), including senior Brendan Kelly, senior Conor Casey and sophomore Michael Kania.
Georgetown made a jump from 11th to a tie for fourth with USF after the Hoyas shot a 287 in the final round to finish with a 54-hole total of 895. The 287 was the lowest score posted by any team at the 2011 Championship. Sophomore Curtis Loop led the Hoyas in a tie for 16th with a score of 223 (+10). Taylor Hall joined Scodro as the only other player to shoot under par in the final round, firing a 70 to finish with a total of 224 (+11). The Bulls were led by senior Robby Carl, who tied for fourth with a three-round score of 216.
Cincinnati senior Joe Kastelic led the Bearcats to a sixth-place finish, carding 216 (+3) for the tournament to place third.