March 1, 2016
By Dan Colleran
TUCSON, Ariz. -- In the final round of the National Invitational Tournament on Tuesday, freshman Ben Albin shot a one-over par 73 to finish tied for eighth at the Omni Tucson National (Catalina Course).
"It was great to see Ben earn his first Top-10 finish on the road," Head Coach Jim Kubinski said. "He has worked as hard as any player we've had, so it's nice to see that work yielding strong results. The experience today will only make him better too. I love how he approached competing this week and expect he'll build on this."
As a team, the Irish shot a five-over par 293 on Tuesday to finish 13th (289-295-293--877/+13).
Santa Clara won the tournament at eighteen-under par (846), followed by New Mexico (852). Nick Voke (Iowa State) and Gustavo Morantes (New Mexico) finished tied for first at 11-under par.
Albin opened his final round with back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th holes and went on to finish one-under on his first nine holes of the day (the back nine). On the front, he shot two-over par to seal a top-10 finish.
Junior Matthew Rushton carded his best round of the three-day tournament on Tuesday, shooting a one-under par 71 to lead Notre Dame on the day.
Junior Blake Barens also shot his best round of the tournament on Tuesday, carding an even-par 72 that included three birdies and three bogeys.
"We felt prepared to contend this week but we just didn't get four players making enough putts, especially early on, to build some momentum," Kubinski added. "We didn't get it started this week but I believe we will at Auburn. This was our first stroke play event since October. We can build on it and get four and five players posting scores."
The Irish have a quick turnaround as they will take part in Auburn University's Tiger Invitational (March 6-8) in Opelika, Alabama (Grand National Lake Course). Then Notre Dame will close out its spring break at the Border Olympics (March 11-12) in Laredo, Texas (Laredo Country Club).
Notre Dame (289-295-293--877/+13)
T8. Ben Albin (70-64-73--207/-5)
T41. Matthew Rushton (74-76-71--221/+5)
T48. Blake Barens (71-79-72--222/+6)
T64. Kevin Conners (74-74-79--227/+11)
T76. Miguel Delgado (80-77-77--230/+18)
-- ND --
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men's golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men's hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College ('06 & '08G).