Irish place 10th in Florida
Kyle Barry | Thursday, March 2, 2017
Notre Dame finished 10th out of 16 teams in this year’s National Invitational Tournament at the Omni Tucson National’s Catalina Course in Tucson, Arizona, on Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday, the first day of the tournament, the Irish struggled early, but improved their second round by 13 strokes to go from a score of eight-over-par 296 in the first round to a score of five-under-par 283, bringing the Irish to a ninth-place tie with BYU. Over the course of the whole weekend, the Irish had a score of three-over-par 579 through the first 36 holes of play. Iowa State would go on and lead the first day with a score of 27-under-par 549o to hold the lead by one stroke over Arizona State.
With the Irish sitting in the middle of the pack, Irish head coach Jim Kubinski said the freshmen in the team were a big reason the Irish had the success they did.
“Our freshmen, Davis [Lamb] and John Felitto, kept us in the tournament that first round,” Kubinski said. “They played a solid first 36 holes.”
On Tuesday, Notre Dame shot an even-par 288 to finish in 10th place with a 54-hole score of three-over-par 867. The Irish had a pair of golfers that scored in the 60s during the final round as both sophomore Ben Albin and senior Blake Barens went three strokes under par to finish with scores of 69.
Iowa State would win the National Invitational Tournament with a total score of 32-under-par 832, which amounted to a five-stroke victory over Arizona State and UNLV, who tied for second place with scores of 27-under-par 837.
Barens finished the National Invitational Tournament with back-to-back 69s in his last two rounds for Notre Dame and Kubinski said he was proud of how Barens finished the tournament on a hot streak.
“Blake finished in 138 over the last 36 holes, which was very good,” Kubinski said. “Ben played really well over the last two rounds too.”
Kubinski said adjustments will be made in order for his team to have success in the next tournament.
“We need to be a little more aggressive, not in decision-making, but in mindset,” Kubinski said. “Th[ose] middle 33 holes or so saw us go 10 [under par] as a team. We just need to extend that style of play over 54 holes, rather than play a bit tentatively and start slow with plus eight.”
Kubinski believed that his team did some very good things, despite not winning the tournament.
“There was lots of good play over the majority of the event, playing top-ranked teams,” Kubinski said. “That’s what we’ll build upon. It was a very encouraging majority of the tournament. We’ll be stronger for this experience.”
The Irish will have the next two weeks off as they prepare for the Georgia Southern Schenkel Invitational at the Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Georgia, from March 17 to 19.