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Men’s Golf: Scodro returns to Olympia Fields against top competition

Conor Kelly | Friday, September 16, 2011

When Irish coach Jim Kubinski and senior Max Scodro were out to breakfast Thursday morning at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago, Ill., a waitress approached the pair.

She came to their table and told Kubinski, “They tell us we’re supposed to be impartial here, but we’re all rooting for Max [Scodro] this weekend.”

The Irish and 14 other teams will play in the Olympia Fields Invitational hosted by Illinois at the Olympia Fields Country Club, which Scodro has belonged to since he was a child.

The Irish will welcome any advantage Scodro’s experience playing at the club will bring as they play on what may be one of the toughest fields in the country.

“This will certainly be the strongest field we’ve ever played in,” Kubinski said. “There should be 12 teams in the top-20 in the country here. Duke, Stanford, Texas, some very good Big Ten and SEC teams and defending national champion Augusta State will be here.”

For a team that would like to count itself amongst the best in the country, this weekend will be important. The Irish are hoping to bounce back after a somewhat disappointing finish last weekend at the Gopher Invitational in Wayzata, Minn. Up four shots on Arkansas with a round to go, the Irish fired a final round 307 (+19) and slipped into third place behind Arkansas and North Texas.

“We already know we’re a great team,” Kubinski said. “It’s up to us now to show that we’re a great team. I think in the final round last week we started playing to protect and not to win. We need to play without that fear.”

Kubinski will look for better performances from seniors Tom Usher and Chris Walker, who averaged rounds of 77 and 76 respectively in Minnesota.

“I think all our guys will bounce back from a slightly discouraging tournament, at least in the final day,” Kubinski said. “Overall, we showed that we can do very well even without our best game, but the guys have looked great in their practice rounds here. They really have.”

Having confidence in their shots will be of utmost importance to a very talented Irish team if they hope to compete for a title this weekend. If they do, Kubinski said Scodro and the Irish will give the waitresses of Olympia Fields something to cheer about.

The Irish take to the course this Friday at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago, Ill.

Contact Conor Kelly at ckelly17@nd.edu