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Men’s Golf: Struggling team last at tournament

Eric Prister | Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Irish struggled to post consistent scores for the second tournament in a row, finishing in last place at the UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate Championship, a two-day, three-round tournament in Greensboro, N.C., held Friday and Saturday.

“It was definitely a big disappointment for us,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said. “We expected to really have a chance to be right up there in the last round and have a chance to win, based on having four or five guys playing well. We just didn’t get anyone playing three rounds, but really we didn’t even get two good rounds out of our best players, which was definitely a disappointment.”

After shooting a first-round 302, which put them 15th out of 15 teams, the Irish were unable to recover and finished the tournament at plus-24 despite a one-over second round.

“We missed a lot in that four- to six-foot range, and when you have just two or three of those per player, and you’re counting four scores, you’re talking about eight to twelve shots per round,” Kubinski said. “That’s really all it was, a couple of loose shots and a couple of short putts that just didn’t drop this week. It’s not something we normally do, but honestly the last two weeks we’ve played that way.”

Sophomore Max Scodro posted the lowest score for the Irish for the second straight tournament, finishing in a tie for 32nd place with a 219 over three rounds. Scodro came into the final round four-under, but struggled on the final day, recording a five-over 77 to finish three-over par. His three-under 69 in the second round was his best single-round score so far this season.

“[Scodro is] definitely an exciting player,” Kubinski said. “He’s got all the potential to be one of the best players in the country. The last round was the only round that he didn’t make a birdie, which is so uncharacteristic of him. He started out with some patience, but as the birdies didn’t come, I think he pressed a little bit and made some bogeys. He’s one of our real bright spots, and I’m looking forward to basically two and a half years watching him contend for tournaments.”

Fifth-year senior Josh Sandman finished in a tie for 45th place after shooting seven-over for the tournament, but could not recover from his first round, in which he posted a plus-eight 80. Junior Jeff Chen also had his score counted in each round for the Irish, finishing in a tie for 58th place at nine-over par.

No. 38 Georgia Tech finished the tournament 21-under par, which gave them the tournament victory. Behind the Yellow Jackets were No. 26 Virginia and Michigan, who shot 14- and 11- under, respectively. No. 16 Augusta State and No. 12 Tennessee also finished the tournament under par.

The Irish will attempt to regroup and put forth a strong showing Oct. 30 at The Match Play in Southern Pines, N.C.

“I think it’s really just two or three shots per player that we just have to figure out and get rid of the looseness,” Kubinski said. “We really have to buckle down and get some good practice in, and get back on the winning feeling that we had three weeks ago at home. I don’t think the guys have lost too much confidence, but we have to get back to work.”