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Men’s Golf

Conners picks up first collegiate victory in Notre Dame’s home victory

| Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Notre Dame ended its regular season campaign on a high note by claiming its fourth win of the 2016-2017 season at the Battle at the Warren on a windy, yet warm weekend.

The Irish dominated the Battle at the Warren by winning the tournament — of which they were the host — by 20 strokes with a total score of 577 (+17). Detroit-Mercy came in second with a total score of 597 (+37). As part of the dominant performance, five of the top six finishers came from the Notre Dame golfers.

Irish sophomore Kevin Conners tees off during the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge on Sept. 3 at Warren Golf Course.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish sophomore Kevin Conners tees off during the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge on Sept. 3 at Warren Golf Course.

With this win, Notre Dame now has four victories this season, taking the top spot at the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge, the Georgetown Invitational and the Yestingsmeier Match Play.

“I was very pleased with the number of players from our team who posted strong scores in what was likely the windiest day we’ve encountered during competition on our Warren Golf Course,” head coach Jim Kubinski said. “To have three of our guys placing first, second and third was not only fun, but a tribute to the preparation we put in.”

One of the golfers that led the charge in Notre Dame’s success was sophomore Kevin Conners, who competed as an individual, finishing the tournament with a one-over par 141 to take home medalist honors.

Conners became the fourth Notre Dame golfer to claim an individual win this season, joining Irish teammates freshman John Felitto, who won the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge in September, senior Blake Barens, whose win came at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic in October and sophomore Ben Albin, who won the Georgetown Intercollegiate the following week. In addition, both Felitto and freshman Davis Lamb went 3-0 in match play at the Yestingsmeier Match Play.

Kubinski was especially pleased with Conners’ play and victory.

“Kevin Conners did an outstanding job in earning his first collegiate victory,” Kubinski said. “His 73 in the morning was nice, but the 68 in high winds that afternoon was extremely impressive. Kevin has come a long way, in many areas, this season. It’s great to see a player dedicate himself to improving his skill set and then enjoy success.”

To prepare for the ACC championship, which will be played at Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, South Carolina, this weekend, Kubinski wants his players to study the course to help them find success in the event.

“We need to focus on learning the golf course to be played this weekend, where we can score from out there and where it becomes difficult to play from,” Kubinski said. “From there, it’s simply a matter of having all five players execute to the best of their abilities and remain very positive and focused, shot to shot, each day.”

The Irish will next take the course in the ACC championship, which begins Friday in Clinton, South Carolina.

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