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Men’s Golf

Men’s Golf to resume play in Puerto Rico

| Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Notre Dame Men’s Golf team will be traveling to Puerto Rico to compete in the first ever TPC Dorado Beach Collegiate. The tournament will take place Feb. 23-25 at the Dorado Beach Resort and Club. 

This is the team’s first competition together since October, when the men took first at the Quail Valley Intercollegiate. 

Since returning from winter break, the team has had many successful trips to Florida to work on their game. The men’s head coach, John Handrigan, shared some insights on the status of the team at this point in the season.

“We’re doing pretty well. Obviously, we have had a couple months off,” Handrigan said. “The guys have been working hard. Pretty much every guy has played in a tournament or two over this break, in order to try to keep things rolling after everything that we did this fall. I feel that we are ready. We have had several practice trips that we’ve been on over the last few weeks, down to Florida to get some golf in. As you know, you can’t get much here at this time of year. I feel like we’ve prepared well and that we’re ready for our first event.”

Michelle Mehelas | The Observer

Former Irish golfer Miguel Delgado watches a stroke during the Fighting Irish Classisms at the Warren Golf Course on Oct. 8, 2018.

Looking back at the last few weeks of practice, Handrigan had the following to say regarding the flow and rhythm of the guys heading down to Puerto Rico.

“I’ve noticed that it took us a while to get things back. We were a little rusty our first few weeks practicing,” he said. “However, I noticed that on this last trip that we were on, in Florida, our guys were back on track. It took us a few weeks to get there, but I feel like we are in a good stop heading into this first event. It’s a long spring and there is still a lot of golf to be played. I am really happy with where our team is leading up to this event.”

The team does not normally travel abroad for tournaments during the year. With that said, the men on the team do not seem to be phased by the change in scenery at all, according to Handrigan. Instead, they are locked, loaded and ready to compete. 

“I think that they are excited about going to a nice climate and a nice location, but, to be honest, they are just eager to compete,” Handrigan said. “It has been a while since we competed. We had an exceptional fall. They are hungry to try to continue what we did and to get back into competition.”

Going into this tournament, there are a lot of big time contenders. The field will be made up of some regional opponents — Indiana and Michigan State — an ACC opponent — Louisville — and other teams that Notre Dame does not always face, Army and Rutgers to name a couple.

Handrigan commented on the team’s mindset, saying the team is not easily rattled and sticks true to their game plan, regardless of the competition.

“There are several good teams. Louisville is a top-ten team in the country who is also in the ACC. That’s going to be a big team there,” he said. “To be honest, we don’t really focus on other teams. We do the best that we can and I know that if we compete at the highest level and do what’s expected we should have a great finish.”

The entire team will be traveling down to Puerto Rico. With the start of the spring season at the gates, Handrigan thinks that it is now or never to get the ball rolling again. 

“We’ve got nine guys on the roster and we are taking five guys in the starting lineup and we are taking four in as individuals,” Handrigan said. “I think that it is important to provide opportunities for every player on our team and that is what we are doing with this first event. I think that we have a very deep lineup. I don’t know who is going to be the top guy each week, because it varies. I am excited to see what the guys are going to do coming out of the off season.”

Competition will be from Sunday, Feb. 23 until Tuesday, Feb. 25.

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