ND prepares for Irish Creek Collegiate Invitational
Cole Schietinger | Friday, April 4, 2014
This weekend, Notre Dame will face top-notch competition at the Irish Creek Golf Club in Kannapolis, N.C., in the Irish Creek Collegiate. Highlighting the 16-team field, is No. 36 Wake Forest, as well as North Carolina and North Carolina State.The Irish competed at this same tournament last year, finishing 15th in a field of 17. Looking back at last season’s performance, Irish coach Jim Kubinski said there is significant room for improvement this year.
“[I was] disappointed [the team] didn’t post any rounds at par or below,” Kubinski said. “The golf course was a good test but had enough birdie opportunities to yield a few good scores.”
Leading the charge for the Irish is senior captain Niall Platt. In last weekend’s 13th-place finish at the Lone Star Invitational, Platt enjoyed team-best rounds on both Monday and Tuesday. He finished each of his final two rounds under par and had a three-day score of 214, good for 12th place. Last year at Irish Creek, Platt posted the team’s 3rd-best score, two over par, which was good for 47th place.
Last year’s top scorer for the Irish, senior Andrew Lane, will also be looking to improve on his 35th-place finish. In that outing, Lane was the most consistent golfer for the Irish, posting three consecutive rounds of 74.
The Irish will have the chance to play on what is generally considered of the country’s best courses. Brad Klein, architecture critic and writer for “Golfweek,” ranked the course among the 100 in the nation.
“The lakeside setting is regal,” Klein wrote. “The shot-making is diverse and never patterned.”
Junior Patrick Grahek is no stranger to how difficult the shot-making at Irish Creek can be. As the only other Irish golfer with experience in Kannapolis before last season, Grahek struggled on his third day last year, shooting 11 over par in his final round.
The junior has also struggled more recently, adding four strokes in his final round of the team’s last outing, the Lone Star Invitational.
Wake Forest enters the Collegiate as the heavy favorites and only ranked team in the field, but the Demon Deacons most recently finished fifth at the The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate, losing to top-25 teams Auburn, Virginia and South Carolina.
Notre Dame will look to reverse its history this weekend down in Kannapolis, N.C., at the Irish Creek Collegiate.