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Men’s Golf: Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic to feature nation’s best

Chris Allen | Friday, September 24, 2010

After braving the whipping winds and ocean mist of Kiawah Island, S.C., en route to a second place finish in the College of Charleston Invitational on Sept. 26-27, the Irish find themselves on much more familiar territory next week as they welcome several of the best golf programs in the country to campus for the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic.

The tournament will be held at the Warren Golf Course. Irish coach Jim Kubinski said the team’s familiarity with the course will play an important role against the competing teams.

“Last year the advantage was enough to get us the win,” Kubinski said. “We were in a tight battle with Ohio State and Arkansas, and the finishing stretch of our course really requires a lot of knowledge and experience. It’s tough to put a number on it, but it definitely helps.”

The Irish are familiar with the boost that having an event on a team’s home course can have on a round performance, as the same thing happened in Charleston.

“At the Charleston Invitational, [College of Charleston] really gave us a push at the end there on their home course,” Kubinski said.

Kubinski will depend on the experience of some of his older golfers to defend the Classic title that the Irish earned in last year’s event. To achieve a repeat, the coach has tweaked the Irish lineup.

“The lineup is a little different than last week,” Kubinski said. “

The team is starting three juniors, Chris Walker, Max Scodro and Tom Usher, along with freshman Niall Platt.

Senior Conor Alan-Lee was part of the winning team from last year’s event and he’s playing well, Kubinski said.

“Having a senior who knows the course out there is huge for our group,” he said.

The event will also serve as a showcase for the Warren Golf Course, which was recently named to Golfweek Magazine’s list of the top 15 college golf courses in the country. Kubinski, who knows the course as well as anyone, says the honor is well deserved.

“It’s a great honor. I’m a little biased, obviously, but having been to all the other courses, I think we deserve being in the top five,” Kubinksi said. “It’s still nice to have that honor though.”

The event will tee off Monday morning at the Warren Golf Course.