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Men’s Golf: ND struggles at FAU tourney

Michael Blasco | Monday, March 30, 2009

Notre Dame’s final round troubles dropped the Irish to 10th place with a 40-over par 892 (294-296-302) at the FAU Spring Break Championship in Delray Beach, Fla.

Freshman Tom Usher paced the Irish with a career-best eight-over par 221, good for 27th overall.

“[Usher] has really been striking it well,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said. “He’s a player who has worked very, very hard the last few months, who brings an approach beyond his years. He does a great job of forming a game plan for the course to be played. I’d like him to rub off on our other guys in those ways.”

Usher’s three-over score on the final four holes reflected the team-wide struggle on Sunday.

The Irish, who entered the final round of competition in eighth place, were only five-over par entering the last four holes, but managed to play those holes 13-over par, tumbling to 10th place in the field of 14.

No. 6 Illinois claimed first-place honors with a 5-under par 847, enjoying a fourteen-stroke lead over second-place Michigan.

Similar to Usher’s struggles, junior Doug Fortner also ran into trouble, bogeying each of the final four holes to finish in 33rd place individually with a nine-over par 222.

Freshman Max Scodro contributed a 12-over par 225 to end up in 53rd place, while junior Carlos Santos-Ocampo added a 13-over par 226 to finish in 56th place.

Santos-Ocampo’s Sunday round was going well at one-under through 16 holes, but a bogey on the 17th hole followed by a quadruple bogey on the 18th brought his round to a disappointing finish.

“In the qualifier, [Santos-Ocampo] also had it one-under par through 16 before a couple bad swings knocked him out,” Kubinski said. “All in all, though, it was a great experience and showed once again how capable he is of playing strong stretches of golf against top competition.”

Sophomore Dustin Zhang rounded out the Irish lineup with a 15-over par 228.

After a grueling schedule, which saw the Irish play four tournaments in an 18-day period, Notre Dame will enjoy a short break before the 40th annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate tournament kicks-off in Columbus, Ohio, April 11.