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Men’s golf: Irish sit at sixth place in Gridiron Classic

Conor Kelly | Monday, September 26, 2011

Hosting the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic at the Warren Golf Course, the Irish shot a 583 through the first two rounds of the tournament, leaving them sitting at sixth place in a 12-team field.

With the team sitting 12 shots behind Houston, the leader of the field, the finish was disappointing for Irish coach Jim Kubinski, who watched his talented team struggle with inconsistent and sloppy play throughout the day.

“We certainly did not get what we were looking for,” Kubinski said. “Especially at home, we have to be better. It’s frustrating, and our guys know that.”

Throughout the young season, the Irish have struggled to put together top-quality rounds by their entire top-five golfers simultaneously, and this was certainly the case in the first round Monday as seniors Tom Usher (E) and Max Scodro (+1) played well while the rest of the squad failed to keep pace, finishing at a combined +14 on the round.

Usher’s round was particularly impressive given that without a triple bogey on the twelfth hole, he might have finished at -3 on the round.

“Tom did a good job today minus the triple on 12,” Kubinski said. “We made some birdies towards the end of the round that helped close the gap, but we just didn’t follow it up with a good second round.”

No Irish player shot better than a +3 in the second, as the squad finished the round at +25.

“We make enough birdies to be a heck of a team,” Kubinski said. “But we put up enough big numbers to be a bad one. It’s been our M.O. for the last year or two. Until we eliminate those, we won’t win tournaments.”

One golfer the Irish might like to have back in their lineup is sophomore Andrew Carreon, who made his first tournament appearance of the fall competing only as an individual. Carreon’s -2 mark on the day puts him in a tie for second place individually.

“I’m really excited for Carreon,” Kubinski said. “He’s worked harder than anyone else on the team this fall, and it’s nice to see him get the results.”

Despite the frustrating day, the Irish are in position to make a run Tuesday as they sit just 12 shots off the lead. Kubinski is confident that with a good round and a little luck, the Irish still have a shot at taking the tournament.

“It’s there for us if we eliminate the big numbers,” Kubinski said. “We really can’t have any tomorrow. But if we have a great round and some of the leaders play a little sub-par, we have a shot.”

The final round of the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic begins Tuesday morning at 8:15 a.m. at the Warren Golf Course.