Men’s Golf: Enter Sandman
Douglas Farmer | Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Josh Sandman just answered any and all questions about his return to the links after a yearlong absence. The senior tied for seventh Monday at the Gopher Invitational as the Irish placed sixth with a team final round of 293, five strokes over par.
Sandman finished the third round with a one-over par score of 73, leaving him with an even par tally of 216 overall. His total is the lowest score a Notre Dame golfer has recorded in its four trips to the Gopher Invitational.
“His string of top ten finishes is now at six straight tournaments dating back to when he last played in the spring of ’08,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said.
Sandman recorded three birdies in the final day despite some putting woes toward the end.
“[Sandman] missed three or four reasonably short putts that normally he would make,” Kubinski said. “I think it was a little bit of rust. Maybe he was trying to make something happen and putting more pressure on himself than he normally would.”
Senior Carl Santos-Ocampo finished the final round with the team’s lowest score, a one-under par tally of 71, and tied for 17th overall. He earned his fifth career round under par by knocking in five birdies and four bogeys. Santos-Ocampo had not played a full round under par since his sophomore year.
“Carl played great,” Kubinski said. “He had a tough bogey on the last hole, or he could have been two under.”
Junior Jeff Chen and sophomore Max Scodro also contributed to Notre Dame’s final round score, with rounds of 74 and 75, respectively. Chen tied for 27th at 223, two-over par, and Scodro ended the invitational tied for 38th, five-over par at 226.
“We did some good things, but we did some things we certainly could have done a little better,” Kubinski said of the team’s two-day performance.
Kubinski said he was pleased with finishing sixth in the invitational. By finishing ahead of six teams, and behind only five, the Irish began the season with a 6-5 record.
“[The 6-5 start] is important for NCAAs because you need to have a winning record to be considered, so for our first tournament we are off to a decent start,” Kubinski said. “We did not play our best, but, for the first tournament, we did not hurt ourselves.”
The Irish play next at the Mason Rudolph Championship at Vanderbilt on Friday, Sept. 26.
“I think these guys can have a great season,” Kubinski said. “This was a starting point. Now that the season has started we can build on it.”