Oct. 2, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team will play host to the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic on Monday and Tuesday, October 5-6. The two-day 54-hole tournament will be taking place at the Warren Golf Course, a par 70 course that is 7,023 yards in distance.
The event will mark the fourth year in which the Irish will host the tournament. Notre Dame will be looking to build off of their early season success, as the team has posted back-to-back top six finishes to begin a season for the first time since the 2005-06 season. The Irish will have to get past a strong field, which includes Arkansas, who returns to the event after capturing the title last season.
“We’re playing pretty well right now,” stated Irish head coach Jim Kubinski. “We have some things we can and will improve as the season progresses but I like what we’re showing so far. We’re hitting the ball well. We have a talented group and one that’s gaining confidence.”
All 12 players on the Irish roster are expected to take part in the 2009 FIGC, with five golfers competing as Notre Dame’s team entrants, and the remaining seven golfers playing the tournament as individuals.
“Regardless of who we ultimately decide upon for our starting lineup this week, everyone will be competing, which is important” said Kubinski. “We have a deep and talented group. Most of our guys will start at one time or another this season. Anytime a player competes at home, it should be special. We’re looking at a starting twelve this week.”
THE COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic will be made up of a 15-team field, including (Golfstat rankings from 9.30.09 in parentheses): Arkansas (20), BYU (23), Cincinnati (123), Colorado (102), Georgetown (169), Houston (100), Iowa (32), Lamar, Miami (OH) (109), Missouri (76), Notre Dame (56), Ohio State (67), San Francisco (112), Saint Mary’s (CA) and UT-Arlington (74).
Kubinski on the 2009 Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic Field… “We’re once again very proud and appreciative of the field we’re hosting here at Notre Dame. We have teams literally from coast to coast competing, with several major conferences represented. Last year’s NCAA runner-up, Arkansas, will return again to defend their 2008 FIGGC title. It should be a great, great event on what we feel is the very best collegiate golf course in the country.”
THE FIGTHING IRISH GRIDIRON CLASSIC: The 2009-10 edition of the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic will mark the fourth consecutive year Notre Dame has hosted the tournament. In the inaugural tournament during the 2006-07 season, the Irish earned their high mark to date in the event by capturing 2nd place. Individually, former Irish golfer Cole Isban (2006-07) and current Irish senior Doug Fortner (2007-08) hold the best finish for Notre Dame as each earned a tie for second, carding a 210 (E) over 54 holes.
Lamar won the first-ever Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic title in 2006 by carding a three-round total of 860 (+20), finishing 29 strokes clear of the Irish, who posted a 889 (+49). The Cardinals’ Jusitn Harding earned medalist honors at 213 (+3), one shot better than Isban and Vanderbilt’s Luke List (214, +4)
In 2007, Michigan State took the tournament championship at seven-over par 847, easing past Arkansas and defending champion Lamar by 14 strokes. MSU’s Ryan Brehm was the ’07 tournament medalist at 205 (-5), five shots in front of Fortner and Virginia’s Greg Carlin (210, E).
Last season, Arkansas and Michigan State were tied for the lead heading into the final round. In the end, Arkansas prevailed with an 863 (+23), while UC Davis finished in second with an 867 (+27). Michigan State’s Randy Hutchison earned medalist honors with a 210 (E). Andrew Landry of Arkansas finished in second with a 211 (+1) and he was followed by his teammate Jamie Marshall in third, who turned in a 212 (+2).
Kubinski on the people who make the 2009 Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic possible… “Too often there are very important people involved in hosting an event who do not get the public recognition they deserve. I can’t say enough about the job our Warren GC Superintendant, Matt Cielen, and his crew have done with our golf course. They’ve given us something to be very proud of. Between the tireless efforts of Matt and his entire crew and the great support Warren GC GM, John Foster, and his staff provide, we’re very, very fortunate. We certainly couldn’t host our tournament without their great contributions.”
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 span two days (Monday-Tuesday, October 5-6) with the first 36 holes being played on Monday and the final 18 holes coming on Tuesday. The opening round on Monday will consist of a shotgun start at 9 a.m. with continuous play for round two following the conclusion of round one. The final round will be made up of split-tee stars from #1/#10 beginning at 8:15 a.m.
RESULTS: Live hole-by-hole scoring of the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic will be available through Golfstat. To access the site go to http://www.golfstatresults.com. Daily recaps and standings will be posted on und.com.
THE LAST TIME OUT: Notre Dame earned a fifth-place finish at the rain-shortened 36-hole Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate from Franklin, Ken. The Irish finished at six-under par (562), which was paced by an opening round 277 (-7). Individually, Doug Fortner earned his first top ten finish of the season and the seventh of his career by carding a 138 (-4). Josh Sandman was also able to finish the tournament in the red by carding a 140 (-2).
NEXT UP: Notre Dame will return to action when they head to The Prestige at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The three-day event will take place from Sunday, October 11 through Tuesday, October 13.
— ND —