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Men’s Golf

Notre Dame struggles at Schenkel Invitational

| Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Notre Dame finished 13th out of 14 participants in the Schenkel Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Georgia, which concluded Sunday.

On Friday, the first day of the tournament, the Irish as a team carded a nine-over par 297, putting them in 13th through 18 holes. During the first round, freshmen John Felitto and Davis Lamb posted Notre Dame’s lowest scores, with Felitto recording an even-par 72 and Lamb recording a one-over 73. Irish head coach Jim Kubinski said his freshmen showed promise during the first round Friday.

Irish freshman John Felitto hits an iron from the fairway during the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge on Sep. 3 at Warren Golf Course.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish freshman John Felitto hits an iron from the fairway during the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge on Sep. 3 at Warren Golf Course.

“Our freshmen, John and Davis, kept us within striking distance in that first round,” Kubinski said.

Kubinski also praised sophomores Ben Albin and Miguel Delgado for overcoming obstacles throughout the Invitational and being able to finish strong.

“Ben posted his worst nine holes in college to start the tournament,” Kubinski said. “It was just one of those bizarre things in sports, but I was very proud of him for putting the poor scores behind him and posting a red number over his last 45 holes. Miguel was able to put the tough play behind him too. He was a few over par each of his first nines throughout and then posted very good, under-par scores his last nines each day. That’s something for those sophomores to build upon.”

Throughout the weekend, the Irish stayed put and finished with a total score of 888 (+24). Florida, ranked fifth in the country according to Golfstat, would go on and win the event with a score of 846 (-18) to defeat host Georgia Southern by two strokes.

Kubinski was disappointed in his team’s performance in the Schenkel Invitational.

“We were disappointed by our starts each day, as we felt, going in, we were ready to put forth a very competitive week,” Kubinski said. “We just played that first nine holes poorly as a team each day, before rallying for some good scores on our second nine in each of the rounds. We just needed stronger play going out, a positive momentum, but we didn’t see this week.”

Kubinski said the course at Forest Heights was a challenge for the younger members of the roster.

“This week saw us in a setting where our young guys have not been in before, playing in different conditions, very different lies and grasses and against both excellent and highly experienced teams, which required experience on our side to combat,” Kubinski said. “I recall Jordan Spieth’s Texas team having a tough finish there the first time they competed. They returned the next year and finished very well. We will now have that course experience moving forward too.”

Kubinski said he expects his team to learn from the challenging conditions from this tournament and adapt before the upcoming Seattle University Redhawk Invitational at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington.

“Chambers Bay has a very different climate and grass than South Georgia,” Kubinski said. “I think our biggest lesson we took from this past weekend is something to bring forward always, regardless of tournament or environment. That’s the goal right now, up and down our roster. We have very talented players, and finding that comfort, clarity and trust, within changing environments, is the key for us.”

The Irish will now prepare for the Redhawk Invitational, which will begin April 3.

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