Men’s Golf: Senior co-captain steps up for squad
Joseph Monardo | Monday, September 10, 2012
Louis Oosthuizen is best known as the South African who captured the British Open Championship in 2010, but Irish senior Paul McNamara III pegs the world’s No. 10 player as his favorite golfer for another reason.
“I am a fan of his overall demeanor and his golf swing,” McNamara III said. “I think he’s got his priorities in order off the golf course as well.”
McNamara III has shown to have his priorities well in order, too, having been elected co-captain along with junior Andrew Carreon for his upcoming senior campaign with the Irish. The senior said he looks forward to filling his role as a team leader.
“I have the most experience on the team,” he said. “I have been here for three years, I have played for two of them, I have played almost every tournament the past two years … I can help the other guys on the team with any problems that they might encounter, or I will be able to give them advice both on and off the golf course. Hopefully [I will fill] a good leadership role.”
The Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., product will be one of the players called upon to fill the void left by the graduation of three former starters from last year’s roster. In the 2011 NCAA Southeast regional, McNamara III carded a final day 67 (5-under-par), the second-lowest 18-hole score in Irish NCAA history. In last year’s Big East championship, he helped Notre Dame capture the conference title by finishing fifth with a tournament score of 213 (3-under-par).
As one of only two seniors on this year’s squad, McNamara III worked hard this offseason to prepare for his final go-around with Notre Dame.
“The last month or so of the summer I really worked hard with my golf coach at home in California to make some swing adjustments to get my game where it needed to be going into the season,” McNamara III said. “Over the summer I played a tournament, a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur – [I] didn’t perform the way I wanted to, and my coach and I decided that I needed to really step up my work just to make sure I was ready for the season.
“I did that, and I have come back to school much more confident in my overall game and putting up some really good numbers. I believe that now, going forward, I am in a position where I can help lead our team to success.”
The finance major focused particularly hard to improve his ability with the wedge in his hands, he said.
“I have been particularly dialed in from about 80- to 120-yards from the hole, and that was an area I needed to improve from last season.” McNamara III said. “I have spent a lot of time just hitting lots and lots of shots, repetition. Figuring out exactly how far I am going to hit the ball under certain circumstances [and] wind conditions, and it’s really paying off.”
McNamara said he expects his hard work to continue to payoff throughout the season, adding the direct correlation in golf between preparation and performance is one of his favorite things about the sport.
“The thing that I most enjoy about golf is that it is a solitary sport,” he said. “What I mean by that is anything you do, or any success or failure that you have is ultimately under your control. There is no dependency on other teammates, there is nobody to blame when something doesn’t go your way.
“But also, when things do go your way, you know that it’s because of something you did and the hard work that you have put in and you can take a lot confidence from that. It is really just a competition against yourself, and I think that is one of the most rewarding aspects of the game.”
McNamara III and the rest of the Irish will get the season underway Saturday when they travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., for the Tar Heel Intercollegiate.