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Men’s Golf: Irish top Titans in last game

Chris Masoud | Thursday, April 15, 2010

Although the implications of Notre Dame’s victory over Detroit Mercy mean very little in terms of the upcoming Big East championship, closing out the regular season on the right note is never a bad thing.

The Irish outshot the Titans, 292-298, Wednesday in the Battle at the Warren. The narrow margin of victory can be attributed to the absence of senior Doug Fortner and sophomore Tom Usher from the starting lineup, who both carded the lowest score of the day at 69.

“I thought the guys did a really nice job,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said. “They [Fortner and Usher] weren’t in our lineup, but those were really great scores. Any time you break par on this golf course you’ve got to be happy, because the truth of the matter is typically the average score is in the mid-70s.”

Kubinski decided to sit his two best players in an effort to experiment with a new lineup in the final contest of the regular season. Junior Connor Alan-Lee and senior Carl Santos-Ocampo were given the start and finished with scores of 77 and 76, respectively.

“The reason we didn’t play those two guys today was we wanted to see Carl and Connor be given the opportunity to get a feel for playing in the lineup as we look at a possible Big East lineup, and see where we are,” Kubinski said. “They didn’t play their best today, but they worked hard.”

The Irish needed every advantage they could get against a Detroit Mercy squad that came out ready to play on the challenging par-70 course. Junior Britt Pronk led the Titans with a score of 71 in his first appearance at the Warren Golf Course, and Kubinski said the home course advantage was a deciding factor in Notre Dame’s victory.

“It probably made the difference today because I give them credit,” Kubinski said. “They had a couple of kids that played really well. It was a heck of a match, and definitely the home course was meaningful.”

The Irish received additional support from sophomore Max Scodro and senior Josh Sandman, who carried the Irish down the stretch with his score of 33 on the back nine to finish with a total of 72. Kubinski expects another complete performance from his entire lineup when the Irish compete at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club at the conference championships Sunday.

“I think the guys can take a lot of confidence out of the way they played today,” Kubinski said. “We had four guys at 72 or lower, so that’s what we’re going to need at Innisbrook. It’s a huge day of momentum for us.”