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MEN’S GOLF: Team gearing up for the Gopher Invitational

Bobby Griffin | Friday, September 16, 2005

Four hundred fifty-two-yard par four. Driver, 8-iron, putter. Little downhill, right to left. Nice bird.

The Irish golf team will be hoping for similar results this weekend, as they travel to Wayzata, Minn. for the Gopher Invitational.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said.

“I feel pretty good about our lineup, we got a lot of experience.”

Making the trip for the Irish are seniors Mark Baldwin, Eric Deutsch and Scott Gustafson, junior Cole Isban and sophomore Mike King.

“These are four guys who have been through the wars,” Kubinski said.

It is the first official match of the season for Notre Dame, despite Deutsch and Isban’s participation in the U.S. Amateur event in August.

“I feel really comfortable with the way the guys are playing … I think it will give us a great shot,” Kubinski said.

In the week leading into the event, Kubinski spoke about how the course would play and the keys to being successful.

The Irish coach has never seen the new golf course that will be used for the Invitational.

However, he expects it to play long, a common element in college golf courses.

“We’re all going to kinda get our look Friday at the practice round,” Kubinski said.

“We’ll have to drive the ball well, and we’ll have to put well. I think if we do those two things…I think we’ll be in good shape.”

Kubinski is confident with the way his golfers have been playing so far this season.

He spoke about the golfers having productive summers and getting prepared for the 2005 season.

And with the added preparation comes confidence.

“I think they realize now that they can compete against the best, and that’s something that I don’t think they necessarily had before last spring and before this past summer,” Kubinski said.

All five Irish golfers making the trip have experience with the team.

The three seniors have been leaders of the squad for the last several years, as Baldwin, Deutsch and Gustafson have all received All-Big East recognition.

Isban, according to Kubinski, is the No. 1 golfer on the team this year.

Mike King, while young, still has a fair amount of college golf experience, playing in the Big East Championship and the regionals.

Following the Gopher Invitational, the Irish will play four more matches this season – one in Alabama, one in North Carolina and two in California.