Leigh Torbin | February 15, 2017
On Valentine's Day, the Notre Dame men's golf team proved to be a perfect match for the Yestingsmeier Match Play championship title.
Freshman Davis Lamb won his match on the final hole to lift the Irish to a 3.5-2.5 win over Seton Hall in Tuesday's final at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club outside of Tampa. The Irish, seeded second in the eight-team field, had advanced to today's final with a 4-2 quarterfinal win over DePaul and a 4-2 semifinal victory over Ball State, both on Monday.
This is Notre Dame's second team win this year with a full field, joining its Oct. 17-18 triumph in the 12-team Georgetown Intercollegiate. The Irish have now won two events with at least eight teams in the field for the first time since 2011-12 when Notre Dame claimed both a 16-team match play event and the 12-team BIG EAST Championship. That 2011-12 team also claimed a five-school Battle at the Warren just as this year's Irish won the three-team Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge in September.
Lamb Chops Down Pirates
With match play, like a collegiate tennis match, you never know whom the pressure to decide a match will fall upon. Tuesday, it came down to freshman Davis Lamb, playing in the No. 6 position against Kevin O'Brien. As the tandem concluded their match, the team score stood tied at 2.5. Lamb led by three holes at the turn, but O'Brien charged back to level the match with three holes to play.
The tandem entered their 18th and final hole all square. An O'Brien win would have given Seton Hall the championship. Lamb needed to split the hole to keep the team score level at 3-3 with the Irish taking the championship through the tie breaking procedures. While Lamb needed only to match O'Brien, he did one better. The freshman from Potomac, Maryland, outright won the final hole and, with it, both his match and the entire team's match.