March 25, 2012
EATONTON, Ga. – The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team finds itself squarely in the hunt at the Linger Longer Invitational at the Reynold’s Plantation Great Waters Course in Eatonton, Ga., after 36 holes of golf in which the Irish finished in fifth with a 582 (+6) Saturday. Behind the five-under par effort of senior Max Scodro, the Irish are within striking distance of first place in one of the toughest and deepest field’s of the year.
After the first day, seventh-ranked Alabama can be found at the top of the leaderboard with a strong, 564 (-12), effort. Atop the individual leaderboard is the triumvirate of Mercer’s James Beale, Kennesaw State’s Jeff Karlsson and Notre Dame’s Scodro after each carded a five-under par 139 (-5), heading into the final 18 holes.
Starting on the par-four, 10th-hole, Scodro started his opening round off strong by carding six pars, two birdies and a bogey on his outward nine in the morning round. After making the turn, Scodro continued his strong play and finished his opening round with a two-under par, 70. After beginning his round once again on the 10th hole, Scodro had one of the best nine-hole stretches of the tournament as he put together a three birdie, six par outward nine (-3, 33). With the help of five total birdies on the round, Scodro would shoot a three-under par, 69. It was his fifth round in the 60’s on the young season.
“Max is doing a tremendous job this season,” said Irish head coach Jim Kubinski. “He keeps giving himself chances every hole. Tee to green he’s just outstanding. I think he had 29 or 30 birdie putts from within 15 feet in the 36 holes.”
Sophomore Niall Platt was part of an Irish duo, along with Scodro, to finish the day under par (-2, 142). Platt started the day with an up-and-down round where he registered a double-bogey and two bogeys to go along with a trio of birdies. After his round of 73 (+1), Platt fired back with his second round in the 60’s on the season as he finished the afternoon round with a string of three birdies en route to a three-under par, 69. Platt’s two-round effort of 142 puts him in a tie for 11th entering Sunday’s final round.
“Both Max and Niall have played clean golf theses last two events,” remarked Kubinski. “They’re making a few more putts this week. They were as good as any duo in the field today. Similar to the fall and unlike last season, we need to get those four good scores of our five starters each round.”
Senior Chris Walker played a brilliant opening round, carding two birdies and 14 pars, on the way to finishing with an even par, 72. In the afternoon 18, Walker could not overcome a quadruple-bogey nine on the 540-yard tenth hole. He would end up shooting a six-over par, 78, to finish the day in a tie for 41st (+6, 150).
Junior Paul McNamara III was unable to card a low round despite hitting many high quality golf shots in both rounds. With the inability to get the putter going, McNamara was able to only roll in two birdies on the day. His two-round total (154, +10) places McNamara in a tie for 57th entering Sunday’s final round.
Sophomore Andrew Lane got his first opportunity in the line-up after a solid, individual finish in the prior tournament. Lane fought through some opening jitters by carding three birdies after opening his morning round with a triple bogey on his first hole of the day. Lane would finish his first round with an eight-over par, 80. The Fairport, N.Y., native would settle down in the afternoon round as he registered an outward nine of even par, 36. On the inward nine, Lane would run into trouble on the fifth hole as he incurred a penalty stroke after a wayward shot en route to a triple bogey, seven. Lane would fight back to close the round with a birdie, carding a 75 (+3).
The Irish are set to get their third and final round of play underway at 8:33 a.m. (ET) on Sunday and will be paired with Kennesaw State and Oklahoma.
“Tomorrow is an opportunity to move up for a solid finish with four scores,” stated Kubinski. “We need our full team to eliminate the one or two loose holes and we’ll be in good shape.”
Live scoring of the Linger Longer Invitational can be tracked via Golfstat.com. Be sure to check back with UND.com for a complete recap of the Irish.
Top Five Teams:1. Alabama 564 -122. Georgia 569 -73. Chattanooga 577 +14. Kennesaw State 578 +25. Notre Dame 582 +6
Top Six Individuals:T1. James Beale, Mercer 139 -5T1. Max Scodro, Notre Dame 139 -5T1. Jeff Karlsson, Kennesaw St. 139 -5T4. Bobby Wyatt, Alabama 140 -4T4. Brian Carter, Georgia 140 -4T4. Nick Roach, Georgia 140 -4
Notre Dame Results:5. NOTRE DAME 582 +6T1. Max Scodro 139 -5T11. Niall Platt 142 -2T41. Chris Walker 150 +6T57. Paul McNamara III 154 +10T61. Andrew Lane 155 +11