Men’s Golf: Sandman, Scodro lead Irish through first day
Eric Prister | Tuesday, October 13, 2009
In a field that includes four teams ranked in the top 25, the Irish sit in 11th place after two rounds of The Prestige at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The team has been led so far by solid performances from fifth-year senior Josh Sandman and sophomore Max Scodro.
“We just haven’t played well,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said. “I’m still trying to wrack my brain to figure out why. We definitely extended a lot of energy physically and mentally winning [The Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic], and I just think we’re tired. We haven’t been hitting the ball well, and that’s our strength, so obviously the scores are going to add up.”
Scodro started the tournament out well on Sunday, shooting an even-par 72 in the first round which put him in a tie for 16th place going into Monday. He struggled in the second round, shooting a plus-5 77, which included an eagle and a birdie, but also two double-bogeys and four bogeys.
“(Scodro) had a chance to go four-under (Sunday), but today he just started so poorly,” Kubinski said. “I think he’ll come back tomorrow and eliminate some of those silly little mistakes that really cost him.”
Sandman has been more consistent in his two rounds, posting a 75 and a 74, putting him in a tie for 32nd place with Scodro at 5-over for the tournament. Sandman recorded three birdies on the back nine in his second round, including two in the last three holes, to keep the Irish within range of Central Florida and Pepperdine, who finished the second round in 9th and 10th place.
Also scoring for the Irish were junior Connor Alan-Lee and sophomore Chris Walker. Both counted a four-over 76 on the first day of the tournament, putting them in a tie for 51st place after day one. Alan-Lee bounced back on Monday, tying Sandman for the team-best. Alan-Lee currently sits in 37th place, while Walker, after shooting a 77 in the second round, remains in a tie for 51st.
Notre Dame’s top performer from last season, senior Doug Fortner, had neither of his rounds counted for the Irish. He shot a five-over 77 in the first round followed by a six-over 78 in the second, which puts him in a tie for 56th place.
“(Fortner) hasn’t played his best golf this fall,” Kubinski said. “He’s struggled a little bit with his irons. We need him to step up and give us a good solid score tomorrow.”
The Irish will finish The Prestige today, teeing off in a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
“Our goal is seventh,” Kubinski said. “We’re 12 back, and seventh would put us at 6-6 for the tournament, and we’ll take 6-6. If we play a good one tomorrow, and maybe one or two teams stub their toe a little bit, we can move right up.”