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Friday, Feb. 23, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame bounces back at Northern Intercollegiate

Just four days after their eighth-place finish to open up the season at the Badger Invitational, Notre Dame’s high hopes for a big year were revitalized by their second-place finish in the 2018 Northern Intercollegiate tournament.

The team had two days of practice before their trip to Rich Harvest Farms, Ill., but the quick turnaround didn’t make a difference.

Ann Curtis | The Observer
Irish freshman Andrew O’Leary follows his putt on the green during Notre Dame’s exhibition outing at Warren Golf Course on Aug. 24.

Whereas in the opening invitational it was difficult to find any bright spots for Notre Dame, this past weekend there was an abundance. As a team, Notre Dame finished only one stroke behind the Marquette Golden Eagles, who are now back-to-back Northern Intercollegiate champions. The Irish shot 11-over-par for the tournament, one behind Marquette’s 10-over-par, and two strokes ahead of the third-place finisher Missouri Tigers.

The Irish traveled with seven golfers, a five-man team and two individuals, and while Notre Dame’s second-place finish at the tournament was itself a victory for the team, junior Hunter Ostrom additionally earned the title of 2018 Northern Intercollegiate individual champion.

“The whole weekend was just life-changing for me,” Ostrom said. “I’ve worked hard for so long and to have it pan out in the way it did was an incredible feeling. It’s truly something I will never forget.”

Ostrom posted the top score in the second round, the third round and overall with scores of 69, 68 and 210, respectively. Ostrom’s overall score was a 54-hole tournament career-low for him and six shots ahead of second-place finisher Harrison Mahon from UCLA.

After the Badger Invitational, coach Handrigan noted that a positive that came out of the disappointing finish was the fact that his team improved throughout each round, and the Irish did more of the same this past weekend — posting their best score in round three of the tournament (284).

Sophomore Davis Chatfield finished at an even-par 216 for the tournament, which led the five-man team in scoring. Senior Miguel Delgado and junior Davis Lamb also had notable performances over the weekend. Delgado shot 2-over-par for the tournament, and Lamb finished at 4-over par, the trio catapulting the Irish to their second-place finish. Ostrom, Chatfield and Delgado were the three Irish golfers who finished in the top 11 of overall individual performance: first, fourth, and 11th, respectively.

Freshman Andrew O’Leary’s 223 and Taichi Kho’s 231, in addition to senior Kevin Connor’s 227, rounded out the Irish scoring on the day.

Coach Handrigan made it clear before the season began that the Irish will be going through the season week-by-week, tournament-by-tournament, with no one competition meaning any more or any less than the next one.

“Obviously this week is important, but not one is more important than the other,” Handrigan said in a Sept. 6 interview. “We’re striving to improve. We did it last year. … We just got better and better as the year went on and played great in the ACC tournament.”

The Irish have their eyes set on becoming a national threat, and the 2018 Northern Intercollegiate was the first big step in that direction. Notre Dame will next compete at the Old Town Club Collegiate Invitational on Monday and Tuesday of next week on the campus of Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.