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Men’s Golf: Senior leads squad to Kiawah Invitational

Conor Kelly | Wednesday, October 12, 2011

With the fall season winding down, the Irish look to gain momentum for the spring season as they travel to South Carolina next week for the Invitational at Kiawah Island on Kiawah’s famed Ocean Course.

While the three-week layoff between events could provide an opportunity for rust to form Irish coach Jim Kubinski said his team has retained its edge over the break.

“We’ve been playing some great golf recently in practice,” Kubinski said. “And on fall days like these that’s really a joy. [Senior] Tom Usher has been shooting in the mid-60s and is looking really good.”

The Irish will have the opportunity to bring six golfers to Kiawah, a chance that Kubinski said the team appreciates.

“Obviously at a course like Kiawah we want to bring as many golfers as possible because it’s such a fantastic place to play,” Kubinski said. “We’ve had our first five the entire season, so we’re working on getting that sixth.”

With a number of strong finishes the Irish have climbed into 20th place in the latest “Golfstat” rankings released, the first time the Irish have been ranked this year.

“It’s definitely nice to see us getting some recognition,” Kubinski said. “Those rankings fluctuate a lot week to week with the computers, so they’re not our first priority.”

At this point in the season, Kubinski said, the first priority is trying to finish the fall season strong going into the winter.

“We’re just trying to achieve consistency in our play in preparation now for the spring,” Kubinski said. “All year long we’ve had two or three good rounds per tournament when we’ve really needed everybody. We have the right pieces. It’s just putting together the pieces.”

The Irish will look to seniors Usher, Max Scodro and Chris Walker to provide that consistency at Kiawah, one of the top courses in the country and host to the 2012 PGA Championship.

“The guys are really excited to be playing at such a great facility,” Kubinski said. “That course will test us, but we’re ready.”

The Irish begin play at the Invitational at Kiawah on Oct. 17 at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C.

Contact Conor Kelly at ckelly17@nd.edu