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Irish looking for strong showing at Border Olympics

Luke Mansour | Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Notre Dame hopes to get the second half of its season off to a good start at the Border Olympics tournament this weekend in Laredo, Texas.

The Irish will look to improve upon their 11th-place finish at the Battle of the Beach two weeks ago in their first tournament of 2010.

The squad has been successful at the tournament over the last couple of seasons. In 2009, the Irish scored a fifth-place finish, and in 2007, they held the lead halfway through before faltering in the tournament’s second half. Irish coach Jim Kubinski said he expects the team to be able to build off its recent successes in Texas.

“The Border Olympics has been a good event for us in the past, and I think the course sets up well for us,” Kubinski said. “Our expectation is to give ourselves an opportunity to win come Saturday afternoon.”

As in most tournaments, Kubinski said he is focusing on limiting mistakes in the tournament.

“The [Border Olympics] is a course where if you drive the ball well, you’ll have a number of birdie chances,” Kubinski said. “If we can limit our mistakes to bogey at worst, we’ll have a chance to win. Like in any event, if we putt well, we’ll place well.”

The Irish have enjoyed a successful season so far, recording their first tournament win since 2006 and receiving several contributions from underclassmen, including sophomores Max Scodro and Chris Walker. Scodro notched a 22nd-place finish on the individual leaderboard at the Battle of the Beach. Walker lowered his score each day in the tournament and finished in 58th place.

“I’ve come to expect [Max and Chris] to be there each week,” Kubinski said.
But the Irish will also need to count on solid contributions this weekend from the seniors, many whom have battled through up and down seasons.

“We’ve had some tough weeks this season but if we can get our seniors to play to their potential, I think we’re a team capable of competing favorably against the nation’s best,” Kubinski said.

Overall, Kubinski said he is confident he will see a positive performance from his team heading into the weekend tournament, especially from seniors Doug Fortner and Josh Sandman.

“I’m really looking for our seniors to show what kind of games they have,” Kubinski said. “Each has worked very hard the last couple weeks in preparation, so I think we’ll see good things.”

The Irish will take to the course starting Friday in Laredo, Texas, with the time to be announced.