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Men’s Golf: Platt wins, guides team to fourth-place finish

Joseph Monardo | Monday, October 1, 2012

The Macdonald Cup at The Yale Course was shorter than advertised, but delivered plenty of action for the Irish over the weekend. Irish junior Niall Platt finished with a two-round score of 138, good for his first collegiate win, as the Irish finished fourth overall.

The competition, originally scheduled to be a 54-hole affair, had to be shortened to 36 holes due to inclement weather in New Haven, Conn. The competitors played 18 holes of golf on both Saturday and Sunday.

Yale, the host, took the tournament title for the second consecutive year with its score of 564, while Hartford and St. John’s tied with scores of 567 and rounded out the podium. Notre Dame finished with a team score of 569, five strokes back of the Bulldogs.

On the first day of the event, the Irish finished tied for third with a two-over score of 282. Platt paced Notre Dame with his two-under 68. Irish senior Paul McNamara and sophomore Peyton Vitter both shot first-round scores of 71 to support Platt’s opening-day efforts, while junior Andrew Lane and sophomore Tyler Wingo shot rounds of 72 and 74, respectively.

On the tournament’s second day, McNamara led the Irish with his one-under 69. Platt carded a 70, while Lane and Wingo both scored rounds of 74. Vitter turned in a second-round score of 78.

Platt’s team-leading efforts were good enough for the best individual score of the tournament at 138, while McNamara finished tied for seventh with his two-day score of 140.

“Niall won the tournament, his first college win, which was really neat to see,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said. “I liked the way Paul came back, shot 69 today, so he finished … top-10, but he finished only two shots behind Niall for the whole tournament. So Paul and Niall did a great job.”

Although putting stood out as a problem to Kubinski, the coach said he also thought the shortened tournament negatively affected Notre Dame’s performance.

“When you feel like you are the best team or maybe one of the top teams, you want to play as many holes as you can,” Kubinski said. “You don’t want to get these little sprints. So, yeah, I think it would have been better for us to play 54 holes, but we are going to take some positives out of the 36 holes … And again, I have some guys really building confidence up.”

The Macdonald Cup was Notre Dame’s second event of the season and the team’s first action since the Tar Heel Intercollegiate on Sept. 16. The early-season event at Yale offered the Irish another chance to improve, Kubinski said.

“I think at this point in the season I just wanted to see us developing and I think we did that,” he said. “We did some really good things, even if we could have putted a little better.”

Notre Dame will return to action when it hosts the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic at the Warren Golf Course from Oct. 7 to 9.

Contact Joseph Monardo at [email protected]