ND prepares for Fighting Irish Classic
Grant DelVecchio | Friday, October 5, 2018
Notre Dame will compete in its one and only home competition of the year at the Fighting Irish Classic this upcoming Sunday and Monday.
Irish head coach John Handrigan is looking forward to playing on Notre Dame’s home course and is happy with where his team is at this point in the season.
“This week, since we’re playing on our home turf, we didn’t have to work on course management which made it easier for us to zone in and really focus on the parts of our game that need the most work,” Handrigan said.
The Fighting Irish Classic will feature 14 teams — including Iowa, Illinois, Iowa State, Michigan State and North Carolina. The field will play 36 holes starting on Sunday and finish with a round of 18 Monday.
Iowa, who is ranked No. 19 in the nation, will pose stiff competition to the Irish along with No. 29 Illinois and No. 35 Michigan State. Despite the tough field, Handrigan is excited for the Irish to compete and battle against some of the top teams in the nation.
“Last week, we didn’t play our best but at the same time played an overall solid tournament, we had a freshman [Andrew O’Leary] lead the team, which was very positive, and we’ve worked hard in a couple of different areas we needed to get better at all week,” Handrigan said.
Handrigan also added that one thing in particular he worked on with the team was how to continue playing well during a good round and how to keep things rolling when they’re already playing well.
Notre Dame, which usually travels with a five-man team and a few individuals to away tournaments, will have 10 players competing: one five-man team and five individuals. The lineup has yet to be established due to an extremely competitive set of qualifying rounds.
“We have a deep team and I feel good with where we’re at moving forward,” Handrigan said. “All 10 guys are all capable of being a top player in our lineup; it’s pretty impressive when you have a team as deep as ours”.
Handrigan was especially impressed by sophomore Alex Jamieson, who shot a home course record 62 in a practice round this past week. Jamieson has yet to travel with the team or compete in a tournament this year, evidencing Notre Dame’s roster depth.
After opening up the season with three-straight away tournaments, the Irish are excited to be competing on their home course, especially considering the fact that they finish the season with six more tournaments on the road heading into the ACC Championships.
The team knows that it has to take advantage of the fact that it is playing on its home course, and having a few days off last weekend, the Irish are fresh and ready to go.
As Handrigan has been reiterating all season long, the team is not taking any one tournament more or less lightly than the next. The main goal is to continue improving and getting better week by week as the year goes on.
After a fifth-place finish at last week’s Old Town Club Invitational, the Irish are looking to get back on top with a unique opportunity to do so on their home course this upcoming weekend. The first 36 holes will begin on Sunday with an 8:45 a.m. shotgun start followed by the final 18 holes on Monday at 8:30 a.m. at Warren Golf Course.