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Men’s Golf

Notre Dame prepared to host Fighting Irish Classic

| Friday, October 6, 2017

The Irish are back on their home field after finishing sixth in the Shoal Creek Invitational last week to host the Fighting Irish Classic.

The squad sat in second place after Day One in Alabama last week, but carded six double bogeys on the second day of competition to fall out of the top three. No. 9 Wake Forest took home the win at the Invitational.

Irish sophomore John Felitto hits an iron during the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge on Sept. 3, 2016, at Warren Golf Course.Observer File Photo
Irish sophomore John Felitto hits an iron during the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge on Sept. 3, 2016, at Warren Golf Course.

The Irish will play freshman Davis Chatfield, sophomores Hunter Ostrom and John Felitto and juniors Ben Albin and Miguel Delgado on the regular team in the tournament, while the remaining team members will play as individuals.

Irish head coach John Handrigan explained how the coaching staff chose who would represent Notre Dame as part of the team and who would do so individually.

“All of our guys are playing this weekend,” Handrigan said. “There are the five guys on our regular team, and the rest are playing as individuals. … We had a three-day tournament in practice, where the top two finishers got spots on the team roster for the weekend. Then the last three spots were coaches’ picks based on the players’ previous performances this year, as well as who is showing good work ethic, being a good teammate, performing well academically and excelling in practice.”

Handrigan pointed to short game as being the team’s main focus for improvement this week in practice.

“We did lots of short game practice, which is something we needed to work on, so we spent a majority of our time concentrating on that this week,” Handrigan said. “If we miss the green, then we have to be able to recover with our short game.”

Handrigan reflected on the Shoal Creek Invitational, noting the shortcomings as a learning experience and the strong first day performance as a sign of good things to come.

“I think that the key for this weekend is to get back in the situation that we were in last week,” he said. “We were in a position to win going into the third day, but we didn’t capitalize on that opportunity. We want to be in that position a lot this year. Actually, in hindsight, it was good that it happened that way, because it gave us the opportunity to learn from that situation and have experience being in that position, so that we are ready to pull off the win moving forward.”

Handrigan noted the importance of putting on a show this weekend because it is the team’s only chance to excel on its home course.

“We only get to play at home once a year,” Handrigan said. “So we are looking to represent Notre Dame in the best way possible in the Classic. We are looking to play our absolute best, and our ultimate goal is to come out on top.”

The contest will kick off at 8:45 a.m. at Warren Golf Course on Sunday, and conclude on Monday with an 8:30 a.m. start.

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