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Men’s Golf: Fortner, Sandman falter at Prestige

Douglas Farmer | Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Notre Dame went as its two stalwart seniors went at the Prestige at PGA West, and Doug Fortner and Josh Sandman did not do very well in the three-day tournament, resulting in the Irish finishing 11th out of 13 teams with a total team score of 895, including a final round score of 294.

After winning the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic on Oct. 6, Sandman carded a final round nine-over-par 81 to finish the Prestige tied for 57th place with a 14-over-par, 230 overall.

“I know Josh [Sandman] was really tired,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said. “He made some tired swings, and he is usually fantastic at grinding and focusing. He just didn’t have it.”

Fortner shot a 76 Tuesday to finish the tournament tied for 64th at 15-over-par.

“I think part of it was the physical and emotional toll in getting the first win in a long time [last week at the Irish Classic],” Kubinski said. “And then getting on a plane Friday night, and not to make excuses, but we landed at 3:30 a.m. our time.”

Leading the Irish in the absence of the seniors’ usual stellar play were two sophomores, Max Scodro and Chris Walker. Both finished the tournament with rounds of even par Tuesday, as Scodro tied for 26th at five-over par and Walker finished tied for 42nd at nine strokes over par.

“I thought they both did a great job,” Kubinski said. “Both of them finished at even par today. Chris had 16 pars, one birdie, and one bogey. Honestly, if he had dropped a few more putts he really would have had a great round since he hit 14 greens in regulation.”

Scodro made a mistake on his 13th hole Tuesday, resulting in a double bogey, which prevented him from dropping a possible two shots from his round.

“The guys lost a little bit of their mental edge,” Kubinski said. “You would think you would have a lot of confidence after a win, but I just didn’t see a lot of good things out there. I saw silly swings and things they don’t normally do, and those things hurt us.”

Kubinski said he traces those mistakes to the quick turnaround after the emotional triumph last week.

“We were too far behind too early, and were just a little hungover from that last tournament,” he said. “I just think we were a worn down team, and if I had to do it over again, I would like to have a week between our tournament and then heading out to the west coast.”

Notre Dame will finally have a week off before heading to Greensboro, N.C. for the UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate Championship on Oct. 24.

“I think we will put this behind us,” Kubinski said. “It is nice to have a week off to catch up on rest, and Josh is headed to his home course in Greensboro for our next tournament, so he, and the team, should bounce back.”