Junior Max Scodro is tied for third after the first round of the BIG EAST Championship after carding a one under par, 70.

Irish Tied For First After Opening Round Of BIG EAST Tournament

April 17, 2011

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PALM HARBOR, Fla. – The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team finds itself in a tie for first place after day one of the 2011 BIG EAST Championships on Sunday at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club. The Irish finished the day with a 293 (+9) and were led individually by Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.), who carded a 70 (-1).

“I thought both Max (Scodro) and Niall (Platt) did a great job,” stated Irish head coach Jim Kubinski. “It wasn’t easy out there today. There were some very good hole locations and the wind was a factor, more in terms of its variability than strength. It seemed to move in opposite directions at times even on the same hole. It wasn’t tough to hit greens but it was a challenge to get the ball close to the hole. Chris (Walker), Connor (Alan-Lee) and Paul (McNamara III) battled hard but were a little off their games today, in different ways. As a team, I thought we played very average. We have a lot better golf in us.”

The Irish share the lead with Louisville, who posted an identical 293. They were aided by the leader of the tournament after day one, Karsten Clements, who carded a two-under par, 69. Georgetown and Seton Hall (300, +16) are tied for third, while Cincinnati (301, +17) checks in at fifth.

Scodro’s round saw him post six birdies on the day, including three of the first five holes to begin his competition. The junior took advantage of the par-5s on the opening 18 holes, playing them at three-under par. Scodro’s 70 earned him a share of third place after Sunday’s play.

“Max ended at one under,” remarked Kubinski. “He played extremely well tee to green and putted well. I’d say he hit 11 or 12 greens. He missed three or four up-and-downs that are normally routine for him, but he made a couple clutch up-and-downs to keep his round in the red. He did a great job today.”

Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) showed little nerves in his first career appearance at the BIG EAST Championship, as the freshman concluded tied for sixth at one over par (72). He, in much a different approach than Scodro, took care of the par-3s, playing those at three under. Platt finished his first day with 11 pars, three birdies and four bogeys.

“I was also very proud of Niall,” said Kubinski. “It was his first postseason round and he did a great, great job grinding his way around. His short game is really coming around. He hit his irons better coming in, too. I just love how he battles.”

Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) finished third amongst the Irish rotation, carding a four over par, 75. The sophomore played both the front nine (38) and back nine (37) at two over par. He finished the day with 10 pars, two birdies and six bogeys. McNamara’s 75 places him in a share of 19th.

Connor Alan-Lee (Solana Beach, Calif.) and Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) finished their opening 18 holes with identical scores of 77 (+6). Alan-Lee played a consistent round, putting together 12 pars to go along with a birdie on hole four, four bogeys and a double bogey on the second hole. Walker, meanwhile, battled through an up-and-down first day of action, posting only eight pars, while carding three birdies, six bogeys and double bogey on the first hole. Both are tied for 24th.

“We need to get Chris, Connor and Paul going,” explained Kubinski. “Those three guys are all capable of breaking par. We also need to play a little more relaxed tomorrow. I thought we were a bit tight going out and that happens sometimes. The tournament is well underway now though. I think you’ll see all five of our guys worked into the event tomorrow. There’s a low score for us out there. We just need to settle in and allow it to happen.”

The Irish return to the course in the final pairings on Monday, starting at 10:30 a.m. (ET). Notre Dame will be playing alongside Georgetown for the second straight day and co-leader Louisville.

For live updates of round two as it’s happening, please visit golfstat.com. Be sure to check back with und.com for a complete recap of the Irish on moving day at the BIG EAST Championship shortly after completion of the round.

BIG EAST Championship - Innisbrook Copperhead Course, Par 71 - 7,125 yards
Top-Five Team Scores (18-hole totals):T1. NOTRE DAME 293 +9T1. Louisville 293 +9T3. Georgetown 300 +16T3. Seton Hall 300 +165. Cincinnati 301 +17
Top-Five Golfers (18-hole totals)T1. Karsten Clements, Louisville 69 -2T1. Joe Kastelic, Cincinnati 69 -2T3. Robby Carl, South Florida 70 -1T3. Max Scodro, Notre Dame 70 -15. Ben Sieg, Marquette 71 E
Notre Dame Scores (18-hole totals)T3. Max Scodro 70 -1T6. Niall Platt 72 +1T19. Paul McNamara III 75 +4T24. Connor Alan-Lee 76 +5T24. Chris Walker 76 +5