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Men’s Golf: Scodro ties for first place

Michael Blasco | Tuesday, October 28, 2008

After an uneven showing in his first collegiate tournament earlier this month, Notre Dame freshman Max Scodro’s finished with a 3-under par 213 that catapulted him to a tie for first-place at the UNCG Bridgestone Intercollegiate on Tuesday. An excruciating bogey on the 72nd hole prevented Scodro from taking home solo medalist honors.

Battling through 25-knot winds and a 30-degree windchill, the Irish squad finished in seventh place, a solid showing after a string of rough performances this fall. No. 37 Duke finished atop the stacked field of 15 with a 5-over par 869 – 21 strokes ahead of Notre Dame’s 890.

Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski praised the mature play of Scodro and his ability to bounce back after his 78th-place finish at the Fighting Irish Intercollegiate earlier this month.

“Max has an all-around sound game,” Kubinski said. “He’s fairly long, definitely one of the longer guys on the team and long for a college golfer, but he also putts well and has a great touch. He played some very good golf out there.”

Scodro scattered six birdies and four bogeys in his opening round to shoot a 2-under par 70 before carding an even-par 72 in Monday’s late round. An eagle on the par-5 fifteenth Tuesday put Scodro in the sole possession of first place, but a bogey on the 72nd hole of the tournament dropped him into a tie for the individual title.

Sophomore Connor Alan-Lee finished tied for 24th with a 6-over par 222. After following up his opening-round par with a 2-over second round, Alan-Lee opened his final round with a string of five bogeys in eight holes. He responded with a birdie and nine pars to salvage the round and finish strong.

Kubinski said Allan-Lee’s round was a good indication of the benefit experience provides to his young team.

“We have a number of guys really coming a long way in terms of learning to make shots,” Kubinski said. “Alan-Lee’s round was a perfect example learning to right the ship and starting to make some better finishes after getting a lot of experience.”

Junior Doug Fortner shot an ugly 10-over par 82 in his opening round before firing a 72 and a 73 in his final two rounds to finish in 46th place. Senior co-captain Olavo Batista’s final-round 81 dropped him into 54th overall after shooting a 76 and a 74 to start the tournament. Freshman Chris Walker rounded out the Irish effort with a 20-over 236 in his second collegiate tournament.

The tournament – which was played at the par 72, 7,197-yard Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. – marked the last competition Notre Dame will see until March. Despite inconsistent results and a last-place finish at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Invitational, the Irish have a young crop of talented and increasingly experienced golfers heading into the spring season.

“Coming into the fall, we didn’t know what to expect with [senior] Josh [Sandman] being out,” Kubinski said. “We hoped to play a little better than we did, but we’re very encouraged. A lot of guys are really learning, and we’re expecting to bounce back in the spring and make a run at the Big East Championship.”