Notre Dame prepares for ACCs with final tune-up at Clemson Invitational
Jack Concannon | Wednesday, April 11, 2018
After almost a month away from competition, the Irish will be back and ready to compete at the Clemson Invitational from Friday through Sunday. The tournament will be held at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls Golf Course in Keowee Falls, South Carolina.
The last tournament the team played in was the K-State Bighorn Invitational on March 23 and March 24, where freshman Davis Chatfield led the way for the Irish. He played all three rounds at or below par, finishing tied for 14th place individually in a competitive field. Irish head coach John Handrigan said he has been very pleased with Chatfield’s recent performance.
“He’s progressed a lot. He’s gone from playing well two out of three rounds to playing well every round. He’s done a really a good job making himself more consistent,” Handrigan said. “Being a freshman, he’s one of the top players now, which is really helping us out. He’s contributing every single week and every round.”
In addition to the recent surge from Chatfield, the Irish have also continued to receive consistent contributions from sophomore John Felitto and junior Miguel Delgado. The two of them both finished three strokes behind Chatfield and tied for 21st overall at the Bighorn Invitational, and they were also both top-40 individual finishers at the Schenkel Invitational on March 16-18. Handrigan lauded his team’s depth at this point in the season and said he believes anyone can step up any week.
“We have several guys that are all playing well,” he said. “I’m not looking at one guy individually. When we get things going and play well as a team, we can do some great things. Every week is different. Felitto played well at K-State, and so did [junior] Ben [Albin]. The week before, it was couple different guys. Every week, different guys can chip in; and if someone’s down a little bit, other guys can help him out. I’m excited to see who is going to do it this week.”
The team now heads into the Clemson Invitational, its final tournament before next week’s ACC championship. It’s the final tune-up before the biggest tournament of the season, where the Irish will look to manifest all the work they’ve put in into a good result, Handrigan said. When asked what his expectations are for the team at Clemson, Handrigan said he expects his team to improve.
“We’re just trying to get better as a team and individually. We’re trying to get better every single week,” he said. “We have things that we work on as a team every day, and if we get better every day in those areas at Clemson, it’s going to prepare us well for the ACCs. Sometimes, we might play well as a team and finish fifth, and that’s okay if we’re still improving. We’re not playing our golf yet, but we’re moving in the right direction.”
The ACC currently has six teams in the top 30 nationally, making the ACC championship one of the most competitive conference championships in the nation. The Irish finished 10th at the ACC championship last year and will look to improve on that mark this season, using the Clemson Invitational as its final tune up. The Irish will compete in the Clemson Invitational this Friday through Sunday in Keowee Falls, South Carolina.