Irish travel to Alabama and Texas over break
Dominic Iannelli | Thursday, March 3, 2016
Notre Dame competed in the National Invitational Tournament two weeks ago at the Catalina Course of Omni Tucson National in Tucson, Arizona, and placed 13th out of the 14 teams competing, finishing 31 strokes behind the tournament winner, Santa Clara.
Irish head coach Jim Kubinski said he and the team were not satisfied with their performance, as they failed to build on their progress in previous tournaments.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t take any momentum from our second-place finish outside Tampa three weeks ago,” Kubinski said. “We felt we could put ourselves in the mix here.”
Notre Dame finished the tournament with a final score of 13-over par. On the first day of the tournament, the Irish shot a one-over par 289, but failed to match or exceed that performance the next two days of the tournament. The Irish shot a seven-over par 295 on the second day of the tournament before following it up with a five-over par 293 on day three.
Individually, freshman Ben Albin finished tied for eighth place with a final score of five-under par. Juniors Matthew Rushton and Blake Barens finished tied for 41st and 48th with scores of five-over par and six-over par, respectively. Rounding out the weekend for the Irish were freshmen Kevin Connors and Miguel Delgado, who finished tied for 64th and 76th at 11-over and 18-over par, respectively.
Although Kubinski said the team’s performance fell short of expectations, Albin’s play was one of the bright spots that the Irish can take away from this weekend, he added.
“Ben played beautifully all week,” Kubinski said. “He gave himself dozens of great birdie looks. He was probably a couple shots and putts from contending for the win. I’m both proud of his effort here and happy to see his hard work yielding strong results.”
The Irish will look for their upperclassmen to step up in their next tournament, Kubinski said. He also stressed the need for the golfers to shoot the scores that they have proved they’re able to hit on a more consistent basis.
“We just need our capable players to post scores,” Kubinski said. “At this level, you need four scores each day. Matt broke out today with a good round and Blake played two of three this weekend. I’m confident Miguel and Kevin will hit their stride at Auburn. This week was our first stroke play format since October. I expect more good scores next week.”
Notre Dame has a quick turnaround, as the team will travel to compete in the Tiger Invitational from March 6-8 at Grand National Lake Course in Opelika, Alabama, before following that with the Border Olympics from March 11-12 at Laredo Country Club in Laredo, Texas.