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Men’s Golf: Irish head east

Cory Bernard | Friday, September 28, 2012

After struggling in their first event of the season, the Irish look to improve this weekend at the Macdonald Cup in New Haven, Conn., at the Yale University Golf Club.

Notre Dame opened the year with a ninth-place finish at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate in Chapel Hill, N.C., but the field at the MacDonald Cup will look much different. Comprised mostly of small colleges from the Northeast, Notre Dame’s competition this weekend is a far cry from the competition it faced in Chapel Hill. Irish coach Jim Kubinski said his team is excited for the opportunity to play there.

“We really chose this tournament more for the national schedule and maintaining that presence,” he said. “In terms of preparation it’s the same every week. We just want to shoot the lowest scores we can. Yeah it matters for wins and losses but at this point we are trying to get better.”

The Irish starting lineup will differ from the lineup used in Chapel Hill. Sophomore Peyton Vitter, who competed in two events as an individual last year, will be making his first start for the Irish after outplaying fellow sophomore David Lowe during the week, Kubinski said. Junior Niall Platt will also be competing for the Irish, but Kubinski said Platt was in better shape than he was in Chapel Hill. Platt struggled at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate while battling illness.

Other than Platt and senior Paul McNamara, Notre Dame sports an inexperienced squad. However, Kubinski said he will measure the improvement of his youngsters this weekend less on their scores and more on other factors.

“I don’t really look at scores as much as you would think because of weather conditions or a couple putts here and there that can really affect it,” Kubinski said. “I think for [junior] Andrew Lane and [sophomore] Tyler Wingo, I want to see where they are comfort-wise. How is their decision making? Are they feeling a little more comfortable? We’re just looking for different areas of improvement, not necessarily scores. I think right away we’ll be able to see how they’ve gotten better.”

Notre Dame tees off at the Macdonald Cup on Saturday, and wraps up action Sunday.

Contact Cory Bernard at cbernard@nd.edu