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Men’s Golf: Irish beat Campbell in tiebreaker

Conor Kelly | Monday, February 14, 2011

Notre Dame defeated Campbell University Saturday to finish the weekend 2-1 and earn a share of fifth place at The Match Play at the TPC of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida.

“You know, it’s nice to get a win, but we really fought to two ties,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said. “At this point in the season, ranked where we are, it’s more important just to have a good showing.”

Led by the bottom half of their lineup, the No. 26 Irish barely squeaked by Campbell on a tiebreaker. Tied at 2.5 apiece, Notre Dame took the match by virtue of having won six holes to Campbell’s five. The win gave Notre Dame a share of fifth place as the fifth place match with Ball State was cancelled due to darkness.

On Friday, the Irish defeated Morehead State (4.5-0.5) before falling to Marquette (2.5-2.5) in a tiebreaker.

Chris Walker, Niall Plat, Max Scodro and Paul McNamara all posted victories in their respective matches while No. 1 Tom Usher halved, picking up half a point against Morehead State. It was a dominating performance for an Irish team with hopes of a tournament championship.

Those hopes were dashed later in the day as Notre Dame experienced the heartbreak of a tiebreak falling on holes-won differential (2.5-2.5) to Marquette. Usher and Walker, Notre Dame’s top two golfers, posted victories while Scodro battled to a draw and McNamara and Platt were defeated.

The Irish got back on their feet on Sunday and were lucky enough to be on the winning side of tiebreaker. McNamara and Platt earned victories for the Irish over Ben Polland and Mitch Gray, respectively, while Scodro battled Amanjyot Singh to a draw. The bottom three of the Irish lineup proved to be the difference on the day as both No. 1 Usher and No. 2 Walker fell.

Regardless of the results, Kubinski knew it was beneficial for his team to return to the course and compete.

“It was really important to get out on the course this weekend,” Kubinski said. “It was our first match since October and our last until early March, so it was very important to get out and compete a little bit.”

The Irish next take to the links in Scottsdale, Arizona, on March 5 for the Alumni Matches at Whisper Rock Golf Club.