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Men’s Golf

ND looks to build on last season for improved 2016 campaign

| Tuesday, August 23, 2016

After a 10th-place finish in the ACC tournament to end its spring season, Notre Dame is looking to improve upon its season this year.

According to Irish head coach Jim Kubinski, the 2015-2016 season was one in which the team made solid progress, but did not achieve all of the results he desired for the team.

“Last season was a necessary, and successful, transitional year,” Kubinski said. “While our results were not always what we’ve come to expect over my 12 seasons here, we saw great development from our three juniors, now seniors, as first-year captains, as well as from our freshmen, who gained a great deal of comfort and confidence as starting lineup players so often throughout 2015-16. We were able to position ourselves well for the exciting 2016-17 slate now before us.”

As the team approaches the fall part of its season, it also welcomes three incoming freshmen — John Felitto, Davis Lamb and Hunter Ostrom. The freshmen bring tremendous amounts of promise to the team, Kubinski said, adding he believes they each have a chance to compete right away.

Notre Dame senior Blake Barens stripes his drive at the Battle at the Warren on April 16 at Warren Golf Course. Barens finished in a tie for third overall, shooting a 145 at the event. Michael Yu | The Observer

Notre Dame senior Blake Barens stripes his drive at the Battle at the Warren on April 16 at Warren Golf Course. Barens finished in a tie for third overall, shooting a 145 at the event.

“As was the case last season, I’m not only excited to welcome three freshmen into our program but also feel they’ll have every opportunity to earn a starting lineup position,” Kubinski said. “Our incoming freshmen tested themselves, quite successfully and often, against collegiate competition this past summer. They’re an impressive group of young players with a very high ceiling.”

Kubinski said he has high goals focusing on consistency and improvement for the team this season, both for the fall and for the season as a whole. His hopes for the team are also bolstered by his players’ strong performances over the summer.

“Our goals are to keep growing individually and, therefore, as a team,” Kubinski said. “We’re excited to be back together, after so many players had very successful summers competing. We’ll look to identify a strong starting lineup as we begin this fall semester, as well as work at posting consistent and solid scores, round to round, at each tournament.”

The Irish face off against top competition in the fall. The first portion of their season is headlined by its second event of the season, the University of San Francisco Olympic Club Intercollegiate, which will be played at the host of multiple U.S. Opens, most recently the 2012 U.S. Open. On top of the tough courses the Irish face, they will also have very strong competition going forward, according to Kubinski.

“Certainly, we’re playing elite competition so often this fall that we’ll have an opportunity to enter the spring in very good shape,” Kubinski said.

Kubinski’s team will first see action at home in the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge where the Irish finished tied for second last season. Kubinski said he believes starting the season at home could launch the Irish into a successful season.

“Playing at home is a great way to kick off any season,” Kubinski said. “We play confidently on our Warren Golf Course and will look to build some momentum heading into our travel campaign.”

The Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge will take place all-day Sept. 3 at Warren Golf Course.

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About Elizabeth Greason

Elizabeth is a junior studying civil engineering from New York, NY (yes, the actual city). She is a proud resident of McGlinn Hall and is a die-hard Mets and Giants fan. She is the current Sports Editor of The Observer and she also has an obsession with golf that is bordering on unhealthy.

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