Sept. 18, 2011
CHICAGO, Ill. - The University of Notre Dame men's golf team jumped two more spots on the final day of the Olympia Fields Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club on Sunday, finishing in a tie for eighth amongst a deep 15-team field. The Irish closed with a final day 294 (+14) to conclude the 54-hole tournament at 883 (+43).
"I'm very proud of how we finished off our round today," stated Irish head coach Jim Kubinski. "I think we played the last three holes under par when the field was well over on those same holes. We've made finishing off rounds a point of emphasis in qualifying, so seeing our boys pass teams coming in was big. We had a solid finish considering we had at least one player well out of it a couple of rounds. We have a lot to work on but, in doing so, we can become a heck of a team."
Stanford held on for the tournament title, finishing up the event with a score of 849 (+9) for a full 16-shot victory over both Auburn and Oklahoma State who finished tied for second at 865 (+25). In addition, with Notre Dame's tie for eighth, the Irish posted victories over three teams which appeared in last season's NCAA Championship final four: Augusta State, Duke and Ohio State.
Senior Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.) posted his second-consecutive team-leading effort on the fall season, finishing in a tie for 12th at 216 (+6). Scodro registered the lone sub-par round of the tournament for the Irish on Sunday, finishing one under (69). Along the way, he carded six birdies, including five on the back nine, to go along with three bogeys, a double bogey and eight pars.
"For Max to finish off this event, in front of family and friends, in 69 was special," remarked Kubinski. "He putted the eyes out of it too; six birdies but also a lot of heart in some great saves."
Senior Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) recorded his second consecutive solid round and lowest score of the young fall season with a 71 (+1) on the final day. Walker notched four birdies on the day to coincide with five bogeys and nine pars. Overall, Walker moved into a tie for 15th with a three-day score of 217 (+7).
"I think Chris had a breakout performance those last 36 holes," said Kubinski. "He finished in 143 on a U.S. Open course against the best field in college golf. I'm so proud of Chris. He showed more composure and emotional maturity than ever before. He was awesome coming home."
Sophomore Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and senior Tom Usher (Baildon, England) were the final two scores counted for the Irish on the day. Platt concluded his tournament with a final round 78 (+8) to secure a tie for 46th with a 225 (+15). Usher, meanwhile, carded a 76 (+6), including three birdies, to finish his tournament in a share of 66th at 232 (+22).
Junior Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) ended his tournament with a final round 79 (+9), which was not counted toward the team total. Overall, he placed in a tie for 60th at 229 (+19).
The Irish now return home for their third tournament of the fall when they play host to the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic on Sept. 26-27.
Olympia Fields Invitational - Chicago, Ill. - Par 70, 7,205 yards