Fresh off a third-place finish in the Navy Fall Classic in Annapolis, Md., the Georgetown men’s golf team headed to South Bend, Ind., on Monday and Tuesday for the 2010 Gridiron Classic at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course.
Facing stiff competition, Georgetown finished 10th with a score of 891 – 38 shots behind tournament winner Iowa. On an individual level, sophomore transfer Curtis Loop turned in a very impressive fourth-place finish.
“[The Gridiron Classic] is a premier intercollegiate event that boasts the most competitive field we will face all year,” Head Coach Tommy Hunter said. “And, on top of that, the golf course is very demanding.”
After a shaky first round of play, Georgetown sat in last place with a score of 306, which was especially frustrating for Hunter, who knew his team couldn’t afford to dig itself an early hole against such quality competition.
“We needed to be absolutely perfect for 54 holes if we were to place well,” Hunter said. “I was very pleased with our effort over 36 holes, but we definitely stubbed our toe with the opening 18 holes.”
Luckily for the Blue and Gray, things improved from there as they shaved several strokes off their opening round scores to steadily rise from the bottom of the scoreboard, posting a score of 295 in the second round and moving up to 12th place.
The team’s combined score on Tuesday was 290 strokes, their best round of the two-day tournament, and the seventh-best score among the field in the final round.
Georgetown’s remarkable final round improvement can be attributed to Loop and senior co-captain Brandon Ellis. Loop put together his best 18 holes of the tournament and finished with a 1-under par 69, while Ellis cut five shots of his second round score and finished with a 1-over par 71.
Despite the great improvement shown by the Hoyas, they could only climb to 10th place by the end of the last round. Iowa, Notre Dame and the University of San Francisco stood atop the leader board throughout the tournament and finished with total team scores of 853, 859 and 860, respectively.
Even though Iowa ran away with the victory, Hunter was impressed with his team’s performance.
“Our final team score of 891 was the lowest we have ever had in five years competing in this event,” he said. “From that perspective, we can see a number of positives when you start comparing this team to last year’s team.”
After seeing the final round performances of Loop (69), Ellis (71) and junior Brian Dorfman (74), Hunter has good reason to be optimistic.
Like the team as a whole, Loop got better as the tournament progressed. His combined score of 211, comprising rounds of 72, 70 and 69, propelled him to his fourth-place finish – all team bests.
His exceptional individual performance did not go unnoticed.
“I felt Curtis’ performance was stellar,” Hunter said. “To shoot 211 (72,70, 69) at Warren is not an easy thing to do. He handled the difficult shots very well, and in order to score at Warren, that is exactly what you have to do.”
After the strong finish in South Bend, Hunter and his team are eager for their next tournament. The Hoyas will hit the links next in Fort Myers, Fla., for the Renaissance Invitational on Oct. 3.”