Sept. 15, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team kicks off its second fall tournament of the season when it heads to the Olympia Field Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago, Ill. The tournament will feature three rounds of play from Friday through Sunday.
The Irish enter this weekends’ Olympia Fields Invitational with a chance to make a statement among many of the national powers in the collegiate golfing ranks, as 10 of the 15 teams in the field enter ranked in the preseason top-25 coaches poll with three additional teams receiving votes. Along with that, the Irish get the chance to tee it up on one of the most prestigious courses in the United States – Olympia Fields Country Club (North Course) – which played host to the 2003 U.S. Open. The Country Club, which has played host to a total of 11 PGA tournament events dating back to 1920, lays out as a 7,205-yard, par 70.
Notre Dame enters its second tournament of the season off of a successful first weekend that saw the team finish third (out of 14 teams) at the Gopher Invitational in Wayzata, Minn. Dating back to last year, it is the sixth consecutive fall tournament that has seen the Irish earn a top-three result. Additionally, two Irish golfers (Max Scodro and Niall Platt) earned top-10 results at the event, finishing in a tie for sixth and a tie for ninth, respectively.
Scodro (Chicago, Ill.) and Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.), along with seniors Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) and Tom Usher (Baildon, England) and junior Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) will comprise the Irish rotation for the second consecutive tournament. This also will represent the seventh time Notre Dame has fielded this five-man rotation in the past two seasons.
The Irish tee it up Friday beginning at 9:20 a.m. (CT) alongside Florida State and Arizona State.
COURSE: The tournament will take place on the North Course at Olympia Fields Country Club. The exact tee boxes and hole placements from the 2003 U.S. Open will be used over the course of the three days.
The North Course has been ranked continually by Golf Digest as one of America’s “Top 100 Greatest Courses,” and in 2011-12 enjoys the ranking of No. 62 among all golf courses – both classic and modern – in the United States. The North Course is also ranked No. 46 on Golfweek’s 2011 list of “Best Classic Courses,” above Colonial (No. 50), Congressional (No. 59) and Medinah No. 3 (No. 63). The course record is 63, shared by PGA professionals Rickie Fowler and Vijay Singh.
FIELD: The tournament field sets up as one of, if not the, best of any tournament on the year. Overall, 10 teams in the 15-team field are ranked in the preseason top-25 coaches poll with three additionally receiving votes. The teams participating include (preseason coaches poll ranking in parentheses): Oklahoma State (2), Alabama (3), Texas (5), Florida (7), Duke (8), Auburn (9), Stanford (12), Illinois (13), Ohio State (20), Augusta State (22), Arizona State (RV), Florida State (RV), Northwestern (RV), Indiana and Notre Dame.
FORMAT: Each team’s lineup will be comprised of five golfers with the lowest four scores for each round counting towards the overall team score. The tournament will consist of 54 holes of golf with one round being played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
RESULTS: Live hole-by-hole scoring of the Olympia Fields will be available through Golfstat, accessible at http://www.golfstatresults.com. Daily recaps of the Irish will be posted on und.com shortly upon conclusion of their rounds.
NEXT UP: The Irish return home for the sixth-annual Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic on Sept. 26-27 at the Warren Golf Course.