Senior tri-captain Niall Platt finished in a tie for second place during his first-ever collegiate start at The Ocean Course in 2010

Irish Cap Fall Campaign At The Invitational At The Ocean Course

Oct. 26, 2013

The Invitational at The Ocean Course, hosted by the College of Charleston, Oct. 27-29, The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, S.C.

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island has hosted both the Senior PGA (2007) and PGA Championship (2012) in its history. The venue is only the fourth facility to ever host both of the PGA of America’s major championships. The par 72, 7,051-yard layout has more seaside golf holes than any other course in the Northern Hemisphere.

“The golf course has a lot of run-off areas, collection areas, where you can play all sorts of shots. You can pitch the ball, chip the ball, and you can even putt the ball around most of the greens. There is not a lot of break in the Kiawah greens. There is no grain really in the grass that they use, so basically what you see is what you get. That’s an easier green and setup for the players coming in.”

The 54-hole stroke play tournament will be contested over three days, and begins with tee times off the first hole at 7:50 a.m. (ET) Sunday. The second round is scheduled to start at the same time Monday morning, with Tuesday’s final round slated for an 8 a.m. (ET) shotgun start.

A total of eight teams in the 14-team field at The Invitational at The Ocean Course are ranked in the top 100 of at least one of the major national men’s golf polls. Joining host College of Charleston and No. 85 Notre Dame is Charleston Southern, No. 59 Florida, Francis Merion, No. 8 Georgia, No. 62 Georgia Southern, No. 39 Kentucky, No. 92 Michigan, Michigan State, Rice, No. 63 South Alabama, No. 17 South Florida and Western Carolina (rankings reflect position in poll).

Representing Notre Dame in the starting five will be senior tri-captain Niall Platt, junior Tyler Wingo, junior Patrick Grahek, sophomore Cory Sciupider and freshman Matt Rushton. Freshman Blake Barens will be competing as an individual.

Results will be posted on the UND Athletic Department Web site ( at the conclusion of each round. Live stats will be available at

Notre Dame begins its 2014 schedule at the San Diego Intercollegiate March 10-11 in San Diego, Calif.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team was looking for that one round during the fall season. The round where everything comes together, where everything clicks, where low numbers are posted and top finishes are earned. For the Irish, that breakthrough finally came last week at the Georgetown Intercollegiate in Beallsville, Md.

Notre Dame shot a combined team score of four-under-par 280 during the final round to earn runner-up honors at the event for the second consecutive year. A total of four Irish players also earned top-25 finishes in the tournament’s individual draw, led by senior captain Niall Platt in a tie for fourth place at 212 (-1).

“That score of 280 truly was the type of round that we’ve seen since we came back to school in August, we really have had several rounds in the 270s and 280s in practice,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “To be where we were the first couple of tournaments, I think it was just an adjustment period for the team. Part of that is the large team-feel to college golf even though it is an individual sport, similar to the Ryder Cup or any team competition in golf, where you see players not wanting to let their teammates down, and they want to put together good scores to help the team.”

The ability to distinguish who the team leaders are and will be moving forward, Kubinski explained, can only really be found by placing the onus on the players themselves. As such, he and assistant coach Scott Gump approached the final round at Georgetown with a different strategy as coaches than in past tournaments.

“Going into the final round last week we made the decision to not follow the same pattern we had been, where we help give the players the way to play the golf course,” Kubinski said. “We stepped back and said, ‘Who is it that wants to take over, and get the guys invested in each other?’ I think they did a nice job with that in their own meeting, and Niall as a captain really emerged as a vocal leader, and that set a great tone in the final round.”

With fall break underway back on campus once the team wrapped up play in Maryland, the Irish traveled directly to Pinehurst, N.C., to play at the famed Pinehurst Resort and keep their competitive focus during the week away from the classroom.

“As a coach, any time you can take control of your team in terms of what they are eating, when they are sleeping, that does not really happen on campus when everyone does their own thing, it’s a neat opportunity,” Kubinski said. “Even on the road, the guys can still get their rest, have some great meals, and still practice and play while keeping their focus during the break from school. It has been a neat week to come down to a world-class facility that will host the U.S. Open next June, and be able to play the No. 2 championship course.

“We had some great scores out there, and just the mood of the team driving out of Georgetown’s tournament was different,” he said. “Rather than running to the airport to get back to school for the next class day, and being disappointed with some of our past rounds, the guys were excited and upbeat, gaining confidence because of the low numbers we put up. It’s something the guys want more of, and it’s really been a fun few days to see their confidence grow.”

Notre Dame returns to The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island for the first time since the 2011-12 season, and of the six Irish players in the field this week, only Platt has previously taken part in the tournament. The extended week to prepare, and to keep a clear mind, has Kubinski eagerly anticipating the start of the event on Sunday.

“Coming into this week, the guys are in the best shape to be prepared that they can be, in terms of their rest, practice and focus,” Kubinski said. “For most of them it is just a matter of learning the golf course since Niall is the only one who has played the tournament here in the past. He finished second here as a freshman (2010) and came back as a sophomore, but none of the others have competed on the golf course other than in practice rounds.

“Being able to do that while being fresh and rested, that’s really exciting for us,” he said. “We are in good shape.”


— Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant