Oct. 16, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind – While the University of Notre Dame begins its fall break Monday, the Irish men’s golf team begins play at the 2011 Invite at Kiawah at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C. Play commences with 36 holes of competition beginning at 8:30 a.m. (ET) with a shotgun start before the final 18 holes of play tee off Tuesday at 7:30 a.m.
This is the second year the tournament has been played, with the Irish partaking last year as well. Behind a three-round total of 879 (+15) on the par-72, 7,504-yard Ocean Course, Notre Dame went on to a second place finish (out of a 12-team field) in what was last season’s opening tournament.
“We’re looking forward to our return to Kiawah,” stated Irish head coach Jim Kubinski. “We feel we left some unfinished business there in last year’s inaugural event. We had a share of the 36-hole lead and just didn’t get a fourth score in the last round. It started our run of four straight runner-ups, but war part of our maturation.”
THE FORMAT: A bit of a different format takes place at this tournament, as it will feature a 6-count-4 scoring system. Most tournaments, including all tournaments the Irish have played in to-date this season, take on a 5-count-4 format.
Notre Dame will send out its usual five starters in seniors Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.), Tom Usher (Baildon, England) and Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) along with junior Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) and sophomore Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.). With the extra spot opened up at this event, the Irish will turn to sophomore Andrew Lane (Fairport, N.Y.) as their sixth.
“This year’s squad returns five players from last season’s Kiawah lineup,” remarked Kubinski. “I think experience will be a big factor on that course.”
THE FIELD: A 12-team field takes to the course once again at the 2011 Invitational at Kiawah. The field consists of (Golfstat rankings in parentheses): Alabama-Birmingham (14), College of Charleston (107), Charleston Southern (123), Davidson (129), Florida (55), Kansas (147), Maryland (90), Mercer (117), Notre Dame (31), Richmond (101), South Florida (74) and USC Upstate (92).
“We’re one of the top-ranked teams entering the event, but I expect Buddy’s Florida team will have re-grouped at this point and will be very tough,” said Kubinski. “College of Charleston at home will be tough too. I think it’s a matter of us executing though. We’ll have a good gameplan and plenty of motivation.”
THE COURSE: The field will take to the course at the par-72, 7,504-yard Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C. In what shapes out as the longest course the Irish have played to-date this season, the Pete Dye-designed links will provide a challenge for all teams involved.
“Pete Dye courses test a player,” expressed Kubinski. “I think they’re fair in normal conditions. Kiawah is very playable in light to moderate winds, but is a bear in anything more. It’s great to play in another major championship venue, having played Olympia Fields earlier this year and now Kiawah.”
LIVE SCORING: Live hole-by-hole scoring of the Invitational at Kiawah will be provided via www.Golfstat.com while a complete recap of the Irish on each day of competition will be provided via und.com.