Edward Hjerpe

Men's Golf Welcomes Strong Field For Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic

Oct. 5, 2012

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2012 Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic, hosted by the University of Notre Dame, Oct. 7-9.

The Warren Golf Course in Notre Dame, Ind., was recently ranked in the top-30 of the best college golf courses in the country according to Golfweek Magazine and Links Magazine. After traditionally playing as a par-70 from the championship tees, the 7,023-yard layout will play as a par-71 for the first time in the seven-year history of the FIGGC.

“It’s great to be back home at the friendly confines of our Warren Golf Course. We’re afforded such great support from the Warren staff, all the volunteers and the community here at ND. It’s a special week, and the Warren Golf Course will hold its own. We’ll play it as a par-71 this week, stretched to over 7,000 yards. It’s always a great test but our familiarity with the layout and greens should give us a nice boost.”

For the first time this season, Notre Dame will play in a three-day scheduled event consisting of one 18-hole round each day. The first two tournaments of the fall, the Tar Heel Intercollegiate and the Macdonald Cup, were scheduled over a two-day stretch (36-18).

The Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic features a 12-team field representing nine different conferences. The following schools will be in action this weekend: Notre Dame (2009 Champion, BIG EAST), Boston College (ACC), Gonzaga (WCC), Houston (2011 Co-Champion, C-USA), Michigan (BIG 10), Michigan State (2007 Champion, BIG 10), Minnesota (BIG 10), San Francisco (WCC), Toledo (MAC), UNC-Wilmington (Colonial), UT-Arlington (WAC), and Xavier (Atlantic 10).

The Notre Dame starting five will consist of: senior Paul McNamara III, junior Niall Platt, junior Andrew Lane, sophomore Tyler Wingo, and freshman Cory Sciupider.

Results will be posted on the UND Athletic Department Web site (www.und.com) at the conclusion of each round. Live stats will also be available at www.golfstat.com.

The Notre Dame men’s golf team will host a free junior clinic Saturday morning from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Warren Golf Course. Events will include a pep talk from head coach Jim Kubinski, a “trick shot” demo by the players, putting practice and range work. Children must be in eighth grade or younger to participate. Contact Katie Potts (kpotts@nd.edu, 574-631-5372) for more information.

Notre Dame will send select players to the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational in Muncie, Ind., Oct. 15-16.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s golf team returns home to host the seventh annual Fighting Irish Golf Classic Sunday through Tuesday at the Warren Golf Course.

The tournament will be played under traditional collegiate rules, with five players representing each school and the four best scores counting toward the team total.

The Fighting Irish are coming off a fourth-place finish last weekend at the Macdonald Cup in New Haven, Conn. Junior Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) earned the individual championship with a two-round total of 68-70-138 (-2) for his first career NCAA win.

“I’m happy with the progress our young squad has made these first few weeks,” Fighting Irish head coach Jim Kubinski says. “We improved from 9th to 4th from UNC to Yale on paper but, more importantly, I like our growing comfort level. We’re improving important areas each week. It has been a lot of fun to be around this young team, as the hunger to learn and improve has been evident from our first practice session.”

All 11 Notre Dame players are expected to see action this weekend, with six competing as unattached individual entries. Freshmen Cory Sciupider (Etowah, N.C.) and Zach Toste (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) will be making their first career tournament appearances.

“Before we could talk about confidence and focus being where we want it, our new starters this season needed to get comfortable competing. Even returners Niall and Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) needed to get comfortable in their new roles,” Kubinski says. “Niall picked up his first win last week, and Paul contended after a final round 69. Andrew Lane (Fairport, N.Y.) and Tyler Wingo (Fairfax, Va.) played very consistently from tee to green. Those four now have a greater understanding of what’s required to be successful and are enjoying the challenge.”

Sciupider will round out the starting five for Notre Dame, and Kubinski is looking forward to watching how the newcomer will respond.

“I know he’ll be excited to get out there and compete,” Kubinski says. “He drives it well, plays some great iron shots and shows good touch around the greens. All are important attributes in golf but they’re especially critical at our Warren, given our smaller and demanding greens.”

Notre Dame, who won the team title in 2009, is one of three former champions in the field, along with Michigan State (2007) and Houston (2011 Co-Champion). While the main focus remains a good showing in the team draw, Kubinski views the home event as a chance to work his entire team into live tournament action.

“One of the great things about hosting is the ability to offer each of our players an opportunity to compete, whether in the lineup or as individuals,” he says. “Edward Hjerpe (Barrington, R.I.), Andrew Carreon (San Antonio, Texas), David Lowe (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Patrick Grahek (Alpharetta, Ga.), Peyton Vitter (New Orleans, La.) and Zach Toste have all worked hard and pushed for a starting spot. I’m looking forward to following their play this week.”