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Men’s Golf

Irish head to Illinois for Windon Memorial

| Wednesday, September 17, 2014

After stumbling a bit during their last outing at the Gopher Invitational, the Irish look to get back on track this weekend when they return to the links.

Notre Dame travels to Evanston, Illinois for the Windon Memorial, hosted by Northwestern University, on Sunday.

Irish head coach Jim Kubinski said he is not concerned about the team’s 10th place finish at the Gopher Invitational, feeling it does not tell the whole story.

Irish sophomore Liam Cox follows through on a putt in the Notre Dame Kickoff Classic on Aug. 31 at Warren Golf Course. Kevin Song| The Observer

Irish sophomore Liam Cox follows through on a putt in the Notre Dame Kickoff Classic on Aug. 31 at Warren Golf Course.

“We were disappointed with our overall team finish last time out but, when you have just two players off their game in our ‘5 Player / Count 4 Scores’ college golf format, it often hides some of the big positives,” Kubinski said. “The fact is, we had three of our five players post some very good scores. Sophomore Matt Rushton missed a top-10 finish in a good field by one shot; a freshman, Thomas Steve, led our team through 36 holes after an excellent 71 in tough conditions in round 2, and senior Patrick Grahek played two very solid rounds. We were close, one more solid score in a couple of those rounds, to posting a very strong team finish, so that’s an important takeaway for our team.”

The Irish enter uncharted territory over the weekend, as this marks the first time that the team will play in the Windon Memorial during Kubinski’s 11-year tenure as coach.

“We’re not yet familiar with the golf course,” Kubinski said. “Northwestern hosts their event on a yearly rotation of courses in their locale, so most of the players competing will be trying to learn the golf course. We’re certainly excited for and appreciative of the opportunity to compete at Evanston though, as it’s an excellent field of teams to compete against and our Chicago alumni base is very strong.”

In addition to playing a new course, the Irish are switching up their lineup, adding players who Kubinski said have earned the right to compete this weekend.

“We’re adding senior Tyler Wingo and sophomore Liam Cox to join mainstays Matthew [Rushton], Patrick and Thomas in our lineup for Chicago,” Kubinski said. “Both Tyler and Liam earned their spots through team qualifying play this week, so they’re playing well. All five are certainly capable of posting strong scores so it will just be a matter of learning a new golf course, finding that comfortable feeling competing and executing our shots for us to see some great scores.”

In the end, Kubinski said he sees the Windon Memorial as an opportunity to put a poor showing behind, focus on the rest of the season, and improve as a team.

“Our team is not yet who we can become,” Kubinski said. “So our focus is on staying within the process we started at our home competition on August 31st, where we posted some great scores as a team (280 and 281), putting a small bump in the road at Minnesota’s tournament behind us and bringing a great attitude and approach to Chicago.”

The Irish resume play on Sunday at Evanston Golf Course for the Windon Memorial. The tournament continues through Monday.

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