Irish place 10th, set for Ireland
Kit Loughran | Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Notre Dame finished 10th out of 12 teams at Indiana’s Crooked Stick Intercollegiate at Crooked Stick Golf Club on Tuesday.
Notre Dame posted a final round of 323 to close the three-round tournament with a 71-over-par score of 935 (301-311-323). Host Indiana finished one stroke ahead of the Irish in ninth place with a 70-over-par 934 (318-300-316), while Illinois took home the title with a two-over-par mark of 866 (297-279-290).
With junior Matt Rushton out due to injury, the Irish played three freshmen — Ben Albin, Miguel Delgado and Kevin Conners — alongside junior Blake Barens and sophomore Thomas Steve.
“I thought our freshmen got off to a great start,” Irish head coach James Kubinski said. “All three were in the top 15 (of 66 players) after the first round.
“They did some impressive things in tough conditions. As the tournament played out though, the golf course ended up winning. I’m 100 percent confident they’ll learn from this week and be better players for it.”
Barens was the top Irish finisher for a second consecutive tournament, tying for 27th (77-77-77-231) individually. Conners, though, led the Irish through the first two rounds with a seven-over-par 151 (75-76) that had him tied for 20th. He faded at the end of the two-day event, though, and tied for 37th with Delgado’s 18-over-par total of 234. Albin finished tied for 51st (75-80-85-240).
The Irish entered the final round Tuesday in eighth place after finishing the first round in sixth place. However, the Crooked Stick course proved challenging for the Irish and the rest of the playing field, Kubinski said.
“We went from a pretty solid start, sixth place after the first round but only eight from the lead and four behind the nation’s No. 1 team, to a very disappointing finish,” Kubinski said. “When you play a young team though, three freshmen and a sophomore in the starting five, you expect a learning curve. This tournament presented our guys something they’ve never seen before.
“We played a course set up and in conditions high school players never encounter, and one that became more difficult through the tournament.
“We didn’t rise to that challenge this time, but with the lessons learned today, I think we’ll be better prepared the next time we face these conditions.”
The Irish embark for Ireland to close their 2015 fall season at the Jerry Murray/Notre Dame Invitational at the Waterville Golf Club in Waterville, Ireland, from Oct. 22-24. Notre Dame will compete against Texas A&M, UNC Wilmington and three Irish collegiate teams.
“We’d like to get our No. 1 player, Matt, healthy and back into our lineup [our last fall event],” Kubinski said. “We’ll then look at Ireland as another chance to compete and feed the experience meter that is critical with so many young players right now.
Notre Dame ends its fall season at the Jerry Murray/Notre Dame Invitational at the Waterville Golf Club in Waterville, Ireland, from Oct. 22 to Oct. 24.