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Men’s Golf: Fortner shines in Florida

Tim Singler | Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Senior Doug Fortner led the way for the Irish in their recent 12th place finish at the Spring Break Championships held in Delray Beach, Fla.

Fortner finished the tournament in a tie for second place as he shot a final round of 70 (-1).

He finished with 209 total strokes on the weekend, four-under par in a field of 93 golfers. Fortner tied his lowest round total for this season, which came at the Mason Rudolph Championship.

Irish coach Jim Kubinski said Fortner’s performance as of late has been exceptional and vital for the Irish.

“His strong play is so important to our team in that we have an anchor and one who is comfortable with it,” Kubinski said. “I think Doug realizes he doesn’t have to try to be more than who he is to play great golf.”

To complement Fortner’s efforts, the Irish also had some help from sophomore Max Scodro, who finished second for Notre Dame, helping the team notch a solid weekend. He ended with a 224 (+11) total for the tournament.

Senior Carl Santos-Ocampo finished two shots behind Scodro with a 226 (+13). Santos-Ocampo began the tournament in a good position as he fired his first two rounds of 74. But the final round was a major setback in his quest for success. He recorded a 78 (+7) to end the tournament with the deciding factor of three double bogeys.

The Irish now enter into some of the most important weeks of the season. Next up for Notre Dame is the Big East championship and about one month later is the NCAA Championship.

The Big East championship is just the start for a wild ride for the Irish. Despite not having a strong finish at the Spring Break championship, Kubinski said the team learned a lot on what needs to be done to get better. With a few weeks to prepare, the Irish hope to build up a positive attitude.

“We don’t need false confidence though,” Kubinski said. “We need confidence based on improvements we’ve made in preparation.”

When preparing for the tournaments, Kubinski said the team looks to work on some of the aspects of their game that have been exposed at the last tournament.

But he said talent does not seem to be an issue. 

“Our talent has never been in question; it’s evident to all,” Kubinski said. “We need to attack the areas that have let us down since our win at home in October and get our swagger back.”

The Irish will have a chance to prove that they are back when they compete in the Big East championship on April 18-20 in Palm Harbor, Fla.