Nov. 15, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame men's golf team and eighth-year head coach Jim Kubinski recently announced the team's 2012 spring schedule. The docket features six regular-season tournaments in five different states culminating in the 2012 BIG EAST Championship.
"Our spring schedule sees us in the Southeast a great deal this season," says Kubinski. "We're trying to expose our players to all surfaces as part of their development. I think the one thing we saw at times last spring was a need to get accustomed to Bermuda grass. The opportunities in front of us in 2012 will make our players better."
The spring kicks off with the third-annual Match Play, taking place at the Reunion Resort - Watson Course in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 13-14. The tournament, which features a heavy dose of BIG EAST competition, employs a rare match-play format with the winning team of each match advancing in the bracket. The Irish finished runner-up at the event in the `10 spring season.
"There's certainly a feeling of wanting to make a statement at the Match Play," remarked Kubinski. "It is a good chance to make a mark in the conference with a handful of fellow BIG EAST teams competing."
A busy three-tournament month awaits Notre Dame in March, as the team plays in the Alumni Match Weekend (March 3-4), Schenkel Invitational (March 16-18) and Linger Longer Invitational (March 24-25). While the Alumni Matches are an informal event, the Schenkel Invite, played at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga., and Linger Longer Invite, played at Reynold's Plantation Great Water's Course in Greensboro, Ga., represent challenging tournament fields and courses that should test the Irish. This will mark the second straight year competing at the Schenkel and the first time at the Linger Longer.
"We're excited about our return to the Schenkel," expressed Kubinski. "We had an excellent shot through 45 holes of grabbing a top-five in a great field last year. I believe we played the last nine in +19 after 45 holes at one or two over. Our guys will finish it off this time and try to get into contention for a win."
The regular season concludes with a pair of April tournaments that sees the Irish and Texas native Chris Walker return to Houston, Texas, to open the month at the All-American Intercollegiate (April 9-10) at The Woodlands Golf Course.
"Both the Linger Longer at Reynold's and Houston's event at the Woodlands are terrific venues and great events," stated Kubinski. "Of course, it's pretty special to bring Chris home to the Woodlands. We normally try to avoid travel over Easter, but this was a unique opportunity."
One final tune-up awaits the Irish, as they play host to the Battle at the Warren (April 22) to close out the season. It is the third-annual Battle at the Warren, which each season has served as final preparation for the BIG EAST Championship. This year's BIG EAST Championship sees the Irish return to the Reunion Resort - Watson Course in Orlando, Fla., from April 29-May 1 as they look to defend their '10 crown.
"The goal moving forward is to get some positive momentum going and start to play to our capabilities," said Kubinski. "There's a lot left in this team's tank. We're looking forward to the spring season."