April 1, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team is set to play in the LSU National Invitational this Saturday and Sunday (April 2-3) at the University Club in Baton Rouge, La. A twelve-team field comprised of five top-50 ranked teams (according to Golfstat) awaits the Irish at the 54-hole event.
The University Club plays as a 7,440-yard course at a par of 72. The front nine measures slightly longer, coming in at 3,748 yards, while the back nine plays at 3,692 yards. This will mark the first time since 1992 that the LSU Invite has been played after being held 32 consecutive years from 1961-92 at different courses. This also represents the first time that the University Club will play host to the event.
“It’s great to get back down on the Bayou,” stated Irish head coach Jim Kubinski. “We haven’t competed in Louisiana since our 2005 win at English Turn during Tulane’s Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic, which was actually my first time out as Notre Dame coach. Of course the devastation of Katrina swept in just a few months later, which changed the landscape of a lot of things. We’re just thrilled to return and be able to see the tremendous recovery efforts that have taken shape these last few years.”
“I’ve also noted the well received renovations to the University Course at Baton Rouge, where LSU is hosting this event,” continued Kubinski. “I believe LSU alumnus David Toms was heavily involved. It will be a great, great test. The course can be stretched to 7,700 yards if they choose and the greens are very undulating. This will be a perfect NCAA postseason type test. We’re excited to be a part of this tournament.”
An NCAA postseason caliber field awaits the Irish as, along with themselves, four other teams competing find themselves within the Golfstat Top 50. The host LSU Tigers lead the way, checking in at No. 9, with Iowa, Michigan and Chattanooga coming in just behind the Tigers at 12th, 45th and 46th, respectively. Notre Dame enters as the 37th-ranked team. Rounding out the field will be Boston College, Centenary, Iowa State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Minnesota, Penn State and Virginia Commonwealth.
The Irish will go with their usual rotation that will see the junior trio of Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.), Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) and Tom Usher (Bradford, England) join forces with sophomore Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) and freshman Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) for the five-man squad. The quintet has comprised the rotation in each of the last four tournaments the Irish have competed in.
“We’ll be employing the same lineup we’ve used pretty much since our Fall Break events,” said Kubinski. “I like the balance of this group. We have some strengths in all areas and no real weaknesses. We didn’t finish off our last event anywhere near our abilities and struggled some throughout the Schenkel Invite inside 100 yards but, the truth is, those were strong areas all Fall for us. I think it’s just a matter of getting some rounds under our collective belts, all clichÃƒÆ’Â©s aside, and developing a little more comfort and confidence. The technique is there. The talent is not in question. We just need a little time to get some positive momentum going. This week is a great opportunity for that.”
The format for the tournament will see all teams take part in two rounds on Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. (ET) with a shotgun start. The second round will follow immediately upon conclusion of the first round, again with a shotgun start. The final round will be played on Sunday with a split tee start (holes one and 10) with play commencing at 8:00 a.m.
Full coverage of each of the three rounds will be tracked through golfstat.com and a complete recap of each day of competition for the Irish will be provided via und.com.