April 18, 2011
PALM HARBOR, Fla. - The University of Notre Dame men's golf team earned a bit of separation at the top of the leaderboard at the 2011 BIG EAST Championship on Monday at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club. The Irish fired a second round 290 (+6) to claim a seven shot lead after the second round of play at 583 (+15).
"The lead is always a position you welcome but we can't read too much into it, other than it indicates we've played solidly so far," said Irish head coach Jim Kubinski. "We need to ignore the scoreboards and just focus on our own games tomorrow. Our goal is to play another solid round. We'll focus on grinding out the best score we can and not worry about what the other teams are doing."
The Irish, who were tied with Louisville heading into play today, saw the Cardinals put up a second round 297 (+13) to drop into second place with a two-day total of 590 (+22). Villanova moved into third with a second round score of 293 (+9), for a two round score of 594 (+26). South Florida and DePaul round out the top five at 602 (+34) and 603 (+35), respectively.
Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) paced the Irish individually on Monday, ending his second 18 holes at even par (71). The freshman put together 14 pars, along with two birdies and two bogeys on the day, playing the front nine at one over par (37) and the back nine at one under (34). After two days of play, Platt sits in a three-way tie for first place at one over par, 143.
Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.) also joins Platt atop the individual leaderboard with a two-day total of 143 (+1). On Monday, the Irish junior carded a score of 73 (+2) that saw him post 10 pars, three birdies and five bogeys. After playing the back nine at even par (36) with one birdie and one bogey, Scodro battled through an up-and-down back nine that saw him finish two over (37) with two birdies and four bogeys.
Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) remained third amongst the Irish rotation, battling to a second round score of 73 (+2). The sophomore put together eight up-and-down saves to keep his score intact and, after bogeying holes three and four, posted 14 consecutive pars. McNamara currently sits tied for 11th after 36 holes with a two-day score of 148 (+6).
Connor Alan-Lee (Solana Beach, Calif.), much like McNamara, played a very consistent second round on Monday. After carding pars on each of the first nine holes, the lone senior in the rotation recorded three bogeys and a birdie on the back nine to finish his second round at two over par (73). After two days, Alan-Lee is tied for 16th at seven over par (149).
"Connor has done an outstanding job," remarked Kubinski. "He hit 15 greens (in regulation) today. He's playing so well. More importantly though, I'm just proud of the way he kept himself ready to step in. He never mailed it in, as they say, even when our starting five looked set. That says a lot about him. He didn't head off to the beach over Spring break. He went home and prepared for the remainder of our season. I'm happy that he had this opportunity."
Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) rounded out the Irish squad on day two, posting a second round 75 (+4). Despite recording seven bogeys in his second round, the Irish junior battled back on the back nine, posting three birdies, including a clutch three on the 18th hole to finish his back side at even par (35). After two days, Walker is tied for 24th at nine over par (151).
The Irish get their final round underway at 8:50 a.m. (ET), as they tee off with Louisville and Villanova to decide the 2011 BIG EAST Championship.
"The biggest keys heading into tomorrow are to avoid scoreboard watching and realize a bogey or two isn't anything to be concerned with," explained Kubinski. "The set up here is challenging. All the teams will make a mistake or two and hit some errant shots. For us, it's more about our ability to keep our thoughts on the shot we're about to play and worry about all the other stuff after we finish out on #18. We're looking forward to playing tomorrow. We're enjoying each other and the journey we're on, focusing on trying to improve ourselves every day."
For live scoring of the tournament please visit golfstat.com. Be sure to check back with und.com shortly after completion of the round for a complete recap of the Irish as they look to claim their seventh conference crown.
BIG EAST Championship - Innisbrook Copperhead Course, Par 71 - 7,125 yards
Top-Five Team Scores (36-hole totals): 1. NOTRE DAME 583 +15 2. Louisville 590 +22 3. Villanova 594 +26 4. South Florida 602 +34 5. DePaul 603 +35
Top-Six Golfers (36-hole totals) T1. Karsten Clements, Louisville 143 +1 T1. Niall Platt, Notre Dame 143 +1 T1. Max Scodro, Notre Dame 143 +1 4. Joe Kastelic, Cincinnati 144 +2 T5. Robby Carl, South Florida 145 +3 T5. Conor Casey, Villanova 145 +3