Oct. 29, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team returns to action this weekend, when it takes to the Pine Needles Golf Course in Southern Pines, N.C. for The Match Play. The three-day event features 11 BIG EAST teams and will take place from Fri.-Sun., Oct. 30-Nov. 1. The course is a par-71 that spans 7,011 yards and has played host to three U.S. Women’s Opens.
The tournament, hosted by DePaul and South Florida, features a field of 11 BIG EAST golf teams (with St. John’s not competing). The teams will be competing in a match play team tournament, with the seedings determined according to each team’s Golfstat ranking. The top five teams in the field will receive first-day byes, with the six-11 seeds competing on the opening day of competition.
“The format is exciting,” said Irish head coach Jim Kubinski. “I think match play is something we should see more of in college golf. You want to see teams matched up head to head to determine a champion and this event provides that. While 18 holes is more of a sprint, where a hot putter is dangerous, match play still offers competitors the unique knowledge of knowing exactly where they stand from the opening tee shot. It’s right there in front of the players.”
The Irish will enter the event as the No. 1 seed in the tournament, with Louisville sitting as the No. 2 seed. Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Florida and Villanova will round out the field. Notre Dame will meet the winner of the No. 8 (Villanova) vs. No. 9 (Georgetown) seed match-up on Saturday morning.
Each team in the field will send a six-member team into competition with each member vying for a point to go to that teams match play score. The six individuals will be seeded again by their individual standings according to Golfstat. One point will be awarded to each player who earns an outright win against his opponent, with a half point being awarded to a halved match. A team needs to earn at least three and a half points to advance outright. In the event of a 3-3 tie after the six matches conclude, the win will be granted to the team that won the most total holes in the six matches that took place.
“The event also offers an opportunity to experience a format that is now employed to determine our NCAA Champion in June,” added Kubinski. “The match play draw, with the final eight teams determined after 54 holes of stroke play, drew rave reviews at NCAA’s this past season so this weekend will give us a preview that we are definitely looking forward to.”
The Notre Dame lineup will be comprised of Josh Sandman (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford), Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill./Notre Dame Prep [Ariz.]), Doug Fortner (Tustin, Calif./Foothill), Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands), Carl Santos-Ocampo (Naples, Fla./Community School) and Tom Usher (Bradford, England/Guiseley School). For Usher, it will mark his first competition since competing as an individual at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic.
“The first thing we hope to accomplish this weekend is to get back to doing things the Notre Dame way,” said Kubinski. “Our program must be about what we’ve committed to as our cornerstones, namely: repetition, preparation, discipline, maturity, focus, confidence and support. Of course, the other goal this weekend is to get another win. We want to close our fall campaign on a high note.”
Live scoring of The Match Play will be available online at www.golfstat.com and daily recaps will be posted on und.com.
— ND —