March 16, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Notre Dame men's golf team has enjoyed some warmer temperatures this week over spring break and are hoping to apply some heat to the leaderboard this weekend of an always-strong field at the Schenkel Invitational. Georgia Southern is hosting the 38th edition of the event and welcomes a field that includes No. 1 Vanderbilt and No. 2 Florida as headliners of a cast of seven top-50 teams.
Golfers who have finished in the top ten at the Schenkel Invitational have combined for 252 PGA TOUR wins, including 13 majors, most recently the 2012 and 2014 wins at The Masters by Bubba Watson of Georgia. Notre Dame will be playing alongside more future professionals as the Irish compete in the 54 holes of the event.
The 14 teams will play in a single 18-hole round on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Irish are paired for Friday's opening round with Kansas State and individual competitors with Notre Dame's tee times commencing at 10:06 a.m.
About the Course
Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Georgia, will play as a 6,962-yard par-72 course for this event, leaving ample opportunities for low scores. The club was established in 1947 and has hosted the Schenkel Invitational since its 1971 debut.
Notre Dame Lineup
The Irish will compete with a regular lineup of five golfers and also have an individual entrant into the field.
Coach Kubinski Says
"Our lineup this week is led by senior co-captain Blake Barens. Blake finished very well over his last 36 holes in Tucson and looks to be primed for good play this week. We'll have four underclassmen rounding out our lineup, with sophomores Ben Albin and Miguel Delgado and freshmen Davis Lamb and John Felitto. All have played a great deal for us this season, becoming more experienced collegiate players, and have been very focused in preparation this week.
"We're certainly excited to be returning to the Schenkel this week. I believe it's my fifth or sixth Notre Dame team to compete here. As one of the oldest tournaments in college golf, with so many players who went on to do great things on the PGA TOUR, and a community dedicated to offering the greatest hospitality in college golf, it's a unique and very special event.
The golf course will generally yield a great deal of birdies, as there are lots of short iron opportunities and a few par-five holes to be reached, but it has its teeth too. The hole locations, with some green speed, will challenge players enough to get their attention. It's really a great mix of holes, overall, and a beautiful setting to compete in. We're very appreciative of the opportunity in front of us, with both the number one and number two teams in the country joining us here, and have worked hard in preparation to take advantage of it."
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame's women's basketball and men's golf teams. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.