Irish seek first spring victory at Schenkel Invite
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, March 17, 2022
The Notre Dame men’s golf team will look to continue a successful spring this weekend at the Schenkel Invite in Statesboro, Georgia. The Irish have finished in third in both of their spring meets, the Watersound Classic and Lamkin Invitational. The Schenkel Invite represents the midway point of the season; the Irish have just two regular-season tournaments left afterward.
Following a third-place finish at Watersound, the Irish put together a very consistent performance in San Diego at Lamkin. Notre Dame saw four golfers finish under par in the three-round event, finishing -27 as a team. Senior Andrew O’Leary led the way with a seven-under performance, headlined by a five-under 67 on day one of the event. He joined graduate student Davis Chatfield as one of two Irish golfers to record par or better in each round. Chatfield finished -4 on the weekend. Junior Palmer Jackson was -6 over three days, and sophomore Angelo Marcon rounded out the under-par scorers with a three-under 213. All four golfers finished in the top 20 of the 95-golfer field.
The Irish get contributions up and down their lineup. After the four previously mentioned golfers carried the squad the first two days, their scores wavered in the final round. Senior Taichi Kho stepped up after two tough rounds, firing off a 67 to bolster the Irish score. Although No. 8 Washington fired off a flaming hot -18 score in the final round to leapfrog Notre Dame into second place, Kho’s effort helped hold off San Diego, who finished two shots behind Notre Dame in fourth place.
Irish look for win at Schenkel
Entering the Schenkel Invite, the Irish are playing some excellent golf. To find their last effort that finished outside the top 3 at a tournament, one has to track back to the opening event of the season. The Irish finished seventh at the Marquette Invitational in early September 2021. They are ranked No. 17 in the country. They head to Statesboro, where they’ve had some success. In 2019, their last appearance at the tournament, the Irish finished in third at the Schenkel. They look to extend that success this weekend. O’Leary boasts some Schenkel experience; he finished tied for seventh with a three-under performance in 2019. He looks to lead the Irish for a second consecutive outing.
The Schenkel Invite is a winnable tournament for the Irish. They are the highest-ranked team in the field, sitting 22 spots ahead of the next best competitor, No. 39 UAB. Notre Dame also sits third in the ACC and will see fourth-place Virginia Tech at the event. The Irish looked good in their first two spring events, but the Schenkel represents an opportunity to take the next step. At the halfway point of the spring season, the Irish could pick up a big victory with a strong effort.
The Schenkel Invite starts on Friday, March 18 and will last three rounds, with one played each day.