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Men’s Golf: Notre Dame struggles on home course

Cory Bernard | Monday, October 8, 2012

Despite improved play during the second round of the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic, Notre Dame left Warren Golf Course on Monday tied for last place.

The Irish shot a 16-over-par 300 in the first round Sunday, and fired an 11-over-par 295 Monday. Freshman Cory Sciupider, inserted into the starting lineup for the first time in his brief college career, led the Irish with an even-par 71 Monday. Michigan State leads the 12-team field after two rounds with a total team score of one-over-par 569. UNC Wilmington turned in Monday’s low round with a combined score of 280. San Francisco, Houston and Xavier round out the top five.

Irish coach Jim Kubinski said every member of the starting five improved their play in the second round, with the exception of junior Niall Platt.

“I think we had, other than Niall struggling, which is pretty rare, the other four guys doing a solid job,” Kubinski said. “It was tough out there. We actually had a really good round going, but we gave away probably four or five at the end. We still have a chance tomorrow if we can keep it closer to even par for the round to really move up into the top five which would be a solid finish.”

Platt registered his first individual win at the MacDonald Cup in New Haven, Conn., on Sept. 30, but struggled to stay close to par Monday. After firing a four-over-par 75 Sunday, he carded a 9-over-par 80 Monday. Kubinski said the poor weather and conditions of the greens did not allow much margin for error.

“We don’t typically play our golf course in these conditions just because you can’t maintain it,” he said. “It’s a little different than how we play and I think Niall was just a little off. The way the course is set up with faster greens and firmer greens, if you are a little bit off you can make a whole bunch of bogeys. He got off to a really tough start with the two four puts. He settled in there and I think he’ll go play a good round tomorrow.”

Kubinski also expects Sciupider to play well Tuesday. He said the freshman displayed unusual poise after carding a triple bogey on his second-to-last hole of the day.

“Cory had a tough break in the bunker on eight,” Kubinski said. “He didn’t hit a real good shot and made a triple bogey there but then made a nice three on the last hole. A lot of times a freshman will have a bad hole and carry it with him for the next hole or two but he didn’t. He made a shot (on the last hole) that almost went in for a hole-in-one. It bounced over the back and he made a nice three.”

The Irish begin the final round of the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Warren Golf Course.

Contact Cory Bernard at cbernard@nd.edu