Feb. 12, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
DADE CITY, Fla. – The collegiate golf format is different than nearly all golf competitions as team scoring reigns supreme over individual scores in a sport which is almost invariably an individual endeavor. The Notre Dame men’s golf team will get to enjoy some of that mano a mano competition this week while still staying within the team concept as the Irish participate in the Yestingsmeier Match Play event on Monday and Tuesday outside of Tampa.
Notre Dame holds the second-seed and opens play on Monday morning against seventh-seeded DePaul. The Irish and Blue Demons will then face either No. 3-seed Ball State or No. 6-seed Ohio in either semifinal or consolation play. Tuesday’s round will involve a team from the other side of the bracket (Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Seton Hall or Toledo) based on Monday’s results.
Last year, Notre Dame was the runner-up in this event, beating host Ball State and Toledo before falling to Eastern Michigan in the final.
About the Course
The Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club is located in Dade City, Florida, about a half an hour northeast of Tampa. The par-72 Lake Jovita South Course will play at 7,153 yards for this event.
Notre Dame Lineup
In this event, Notre Dame has six players seeded similar to a collegiate tennis singles lineup, facing the opponent’s corresponding seed.
About the Format
Typical match play scoring rules apply for the individual matches. The two golfers will play 18 holes with no cumulative stroke count kept, rather who wins each hole. The winner of the most holes wins the match. The six individual matches are then added up to compute a team score and decide which University is the victor. If there is a 3-3 tie among the six matches, a tiebreaker based upon holes won and margins will be implemented.
Coach Kubinski Says
“Our guys are excited to get our spring campaign underway, with our first NCAA competition this weekend. We played an alumni match last weekend in Orlando, with lots of quality play, so confidence is high.
“The format this weekend, unlike the rest of our season, is match play. That requires a different approach to some extent. We’ll need to expect our opponents to hole some shots here and there that may not be high percentage type shots and then execute our next shot with strong focus. We’ll also look to keep the pressure on our opponents by choosing the simplest shot to execute rather than gambling too often. The key is to force your opponent to string together enough shots to win a hole by keeping yourself in good position and then capitalizing on your own good shots.”
“We have a goal of returning to the NCAA tournament this season and then making a strong run there with a team who, at that point, will have gained enormous experience. We’re starting three freshmen and two sophomores in our six-man lineup this weekend. It’s a talented and hungry group. To achieve our goals though, we must have each player showing emotional maturity and playing with good focus, good energy, on each shot.”
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame’s women’s basketball and men’s golf teams. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.