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Men’s Golf

Notre Dame closes season with 10th place ACC finish

| Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Notre Dame culminated its spring season with the ACC championship over the weekend at the Old North State Country Club in New London, North Carolina, finishing 10th out of the 12 teams in attendance, beating out Virginia Tech and rival Boston College.

Irish head coach Jim Kubinski said weather, tough competition and mistakes kept the team from finishing closer to the top of the leaderboard.

“There’s no doubt the ACC championship is one of the strongest fields in college golf,” Kubinski said. “We had six of the top 25 teams in America competing, nine of the top 50. We thought we could be in the mix though, by putting up the scores we posted last weekend [at the Battle at the Warren]. We had an unlucky draw on Friday, playing most of our round in the pouring rain. That set us back. I thought we put that behind us though and played pretty well most of the final 36. It wasn’t our best game though, which is what’s required to be in the mix in that field.”

Irish sophomore Jens Verhey hits the ball out of the bunker during Notre Dame’s first place finish at the Battle at the Warren Invitational at the Warren Golf Course on April 16.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish sophomore Jens Verhey hits the ball out of the bunker during Notre Dame’s first place finish at the Battle at the Warren Invitational at the Warren Golf Course on April 16.

Now that the season is over, the team will no longer be practicing together. Instead, they will work individually to improve for next season. According to Kubinski, the players will take on tough competition this summer.

“Our guys head home for the summer and play highly competitive schedules,” Kubinski said. “It’s what they need right now too, more competition. That’s when players develop. I’m excited about this time for our guys, especially with everyone who started for us returning next season.”

Two of Notre Dame’s golfers finished in the top-25 individually. Junior Matt Rushton finished tied for 16th place, shooting an even-par 216 on the weekend.

“Matt played so consistently all spring,” Kubinski said. “He posted just one round over 74 the entire semester, which is a feat considering we played a few very difficult golf courses. He brought that consistency this week, too. He’d say he didn’t have everything working each round but was still able to post a solid finish. That’s a sign of development as a player.”

Kubinski also said the play of freshman Ben Albin, who finished tied for 25th with a 2-over-par 218, was admirable.

“Ben played remarkably well as a frosh this year,” Kubinski said. “He posted six or seven top-20 finishes on the season and had himself in position for another today. I think he played a little too much leaderboard today, meaning he may have wanted a top finish a little too much out there. He’ll learn from that, which is exciting as he will keep putting himself in winning positions.”

At the end of the day, it was the strength his team displayed in the face of adversity that impressed Kubinski. He said three of his golfers in particular were confident despite some tough rounds.

“I think we showed that we can bounce back from a tough round,” Kubinski said. “[Junior] Blake [Barens], [freshman] Miguel [Delgado] and [junior] Liam [Cox] all did that individually, and our team rounds showed that as well. It’s not easy to do so I’m pleased with the resilience they showed.”

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