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Men’s Golf: Irish finish two shots behind champion Toledo

Cory Bernard | Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Irish came up just short in their final tournament of the fall season in Beallsville, Md., on Tuesday. Notre Dame finished in second place at the Georgetown Intercollegiate, two shots behind tournament champion Toledo.

The Irish began the final round trailing the Rockets by one stroke. Notre Dame fired a five-over-par team score of 289 in the third round, but Toledo edged the Irish with a four-over-par 288. Overall, Notre Dame finished with a 13-over-par team score of 865. Penn State fired a 19-over-par 871 to finish in third place.

Irish coach Jim Kubinski said he like the way his team finished the first half of the season.

“The main thing – and I really praised the guys when they finished up today – they got better every tournament,” he said. “Not necessarily – I think the scores were actually probably better, too – but just in the things that coaches want to see at this point in the year: their comfort level, the decisions they’re making, their confidence, being able to bounce back, all those things that you want to see as we head into the spring. I think we gained some really good momentum and, again, we got better every tournament and that was important to me this fall.”

Although the Irish didn’t win the tournament, they did prove themselves capable of beating good competition. They bested Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic champion Michigan State on Tuesday.

“You know, it was kind of neat, Michigan State won our home tournament a couple of weeks ago … but we ended up gearing up with them today face-to-face and we just took them down pretty good,” Kubinski said. “You know, I think we are going to be a good team.”

In order to become a good team, each Irish golfer will have to work on specific elements of his game during the offseason. Kubinski said the coaching staff will develop specific plans for each golfer to work on during the winter.

“We will put together some individual plans,” Kubinski said. “Everybody has a little something different. For instance, I think [junior] Niall [Platt] – who we went into the fall thinking would be our No. 1 player – he’s probably about third in scoring average or so; so, you know, putting, he wants to get his putting confidence back. Everyone will have a little different plan. We’ll sit down in the next week and put that together, and we’ve got, essentially, four months before we start competing again in early March.”

Notre Dame will take a break from competition before returning to action at the Fighting Irish Match Play in Hilton Head, S.C., on March 11.

Contact Cory Bernard at cbernard@nd.edu