June 19, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team is set to face a competitive tournament slate in 2015-16 both stateside and abroad. Three events at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course, as well as an October tournament that will be held in Ireland, and three road trips into Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) country highlight the 11-tournament Irish schedule that was released this week.
“Our 2015-16 competition schedule is one we’re very excited about,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “Once again we’re pretty much coast to coast in the States but we’ve added an overseas venue this time, and our guys are thrilled to compete in Ireland.”
The 2015 Notre Dame fall schedule gets underway with the Notre Dame Kickoff Challenge (Aug. 30) for the second straight season at the Warren Golf Course. The Irish earned a team victory during last season’s kickoff event, carding a seven-under-par score of 561 (281-280) on their home course.
Notre Dame ventures to face an ACC foe for the first time the following month (Sept. 12-13) at the Rod Myers Invitational, hosted by Duke University, at the Duke Golf Club in Durham, North Carolina. The Irish claimed their fourth top 10 finish of the 2014 fall slate, placing ninth (296-300=596), at the Rod Myers Invitational last October.
Following the voyage to Durham, Notre Dame returns to the Warren Golf Course to host its signature Fighting Irish Golf Classic (Sept. 21-22). The tournament returns exclusively to the Warren in 2015 after being split across Notre Dame’s home course and Lost Dunes Golf Club in Bridgeman, Michigan last September.
A trip to the Tar Heel Invitational (Oct. 3-4) at the UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, North Carolina leads Notre Dame to a prestigious stop in its home state of Indiana. The Irish return to the Indiana University Crooked Stick Invitational (Oct. 12-13), to be held at the famed Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel. The Irish face a stiff test in their first appearance since 2013 (eighth place, 912) at Crooked Stick Golf Club, which has previously hosted the 1991 PGA Championship, 2009 United States Senior Open and the 2012 BMW Championship, one of the playoff events in the PGA TOUR FedEx Cup series.
Notre Dame embarks on an intriguing, and long distance, trek across the pond during the academic Fall Break at the end of October. The Irish cap off the fall competitive schedule by taking part in the Notre Dame Invitational (Oct. 22-24) at the Waterville Golf Club in Waterville, Country Kerry, Ireland.
“Heading to Ireland, over our Fall Break, allows for a full week of travel,” Kubinski said. “We’ll incorporate rounds at other famous courses early in the trip, before heading to beautiful Waterville for prep and then competition.
“Waterville is a very special place,” he added. “Many tour players have prepped for the Open Championship by playing Waterville. We’re looking forward to the opportunity. (Club owner) Jay Connolly has been so generous and supportive of hosting at his club, and no matter what the Irish weather brings the week will provide a lifelong memory for us all.”
The spring portion of Notre Dame’s schedule begins with Ball State University’s Yestingsmeier Match Play (Feb. 8-9) at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club in Dade City, Florida. The Irish placed fourth (873) at the 2009 BIG EAST Championship that was held at Lake Jovita.
Notre Dame’s only West Coast stop of 2015-16 takes the Irish to the National Invitational Tournament (Feb. 28-March 1), hosted by the University of Arizona at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort in Tucson, Arizona. Notre Dame shared 10th place with a three-round score of 883 (296-291-296) during the 2008 edition of the tournament at Omni Tucson National.
“Our goal of finding major championship and/or PGA TOUR venues to compete on holds true again this year with Indiana’s tournament at Crooked Stick and Arizona’s event at Omni Tucson National, which hosted a PGA TOUR event (Chrysler Classic of Tucson) for many years,” Kubinski said.
For the first time in over five years, Notre Dame returns to the University of Houston’s Border Olympics (March 11-12) at the Laredo Country Club in Laredo, Texas. The Irish have made four starts at the tournament since 2005, posting a top finish of fifth place (891) in 2009.
The third and final ACC road trip of the year brings the Irish to the Clemson University Invitational (April 1-3) at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls in Salem, South Carolina. Along with Duke, Clemson also advanced to the 2015 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship after claiming a tournament bid competing in North Carolina’s Chapel Hill Regional.
“The ACC affiliation we’re so proud of sees us visiting Duke, North Carolina and Clemson’s event at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls, a golfer’s paradise,” Kubinski said. “We competed at Duke last fall, so there’s familiarity there for us. We played at UNC three seasons ago and it’s a good test, especially off the tee.”
Notre Dame concludes the 2016 regular season by hosting the Battle at the Warren (April 16) for the first time since 2012 at the Warren Golf Course. The Irish claimed victory during the 2012 edition of the event after firing a team score of 564 (281-283), with then senior Tom Usher taking medalist honors at two-under-par 140 (68-72).
The ACC Men’s Golf Championship (April 22-24) returns to the Old North State Country Club in New London, North Carolina for the 15th consecutive year in 2016. Notre Dame finished in solo seventh place (872) with rounds of 294-287-291 during the program’s first ACC Championship start in April 2014.
“We want our players exposed to great courses, different conditions and strong competition,” Kubinski said. “This year’s schedule very much accomplishes those goals.”Â Â