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Friday, Feb. 23, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame hits road bump at Old Town Invitational

Coming off an improved performance at the 2018 Northern Intercollegiate tournament, the Irish headed into Monday’s Old Town Club Invitational with hopes of riding the momentum and building off their second place finish the week prior. Unfortunately, the Irish took a step back as opposed to a step forward early this week in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Irish head coach John Handrigan was “disappointed” with his team’s fifth place finish at the Old Town Club Invitational, and noted that the Irish “didn’t bring their A-game this week.”

The field at the Old Town Club Collegiate Invitational included Wake Forest, Louisville, Rutgers, North Carolina and Yale. Wake Forest, a three-time NCAA men’s golf champion, played on its home course and finished in second place, one stroke behind overall champion Louisville.

Although Handrigan acknowledged that his team didn’t play to its true potential, he also said that the Irish battled against top competition.

“We played solid against a pretty good field," Handrigan said. “Even though we finished in fifth, our guys worked and battled hard, and we are looking forward to getting back on our home turf."

Leading the way for the Irish were freshman Andrew O’Leary, senior Miguel Delgado and sophomore Davis Chatfield, who shot 4-under par (206), 3-under par (207) and 2-under par (208), respectively. Delgado and Chatfield have both been pacing the Irish throughout the team’s first three tournaments this season, and are two individuals Handrigan will look to throughout the season to lead the team on the course.

In the case of O’Leary, who placed 12th overall in the tournament, the Irish are more than happy to have him on the team for the next four years. O’Leary tallied three round scores of 68, 69 and 69 — performing at a high level despite playing against a difficult field.

“It’s pretty impressive when you have a freshman leading the way," Handrigan said of O’Leary. “Andrew has a great attitude and a great demeanor on the course, which is particularly notable for a young guy like himself.”

Among the other Irish golfers competing, 2018 Northern Intercollegiate individual champion Hunter Ostrom shot 212 for the tournament. Davis Lamb, who led the Irish in their opening tournament at the Badger Invitational, recorded a 4-over-par (214) score for the tournament.

While it seems as though Notre Dame may have hit a bump early on, Handrigan made it clear that it is definitely not time to hit the panic button.

“We just have to fine tune a couple of things — mainly their short game and certain shots around the green,” Handrigan said. “We’re close to getting to our A-game and really becoming a threat to the field moving forward.

“ ... We’ve got 10 days to work on a few things, and we’re going to put in the necessary work to make sure we’re ready for our home event.”

The Irish next play Oct. 7 and 8 when they host the Fighting Irish Classic at Warren Golf Course. The two-day competition will feature a strong field of 14 teams coming to South Bend, and will get underway at 8:45 a.m. Sunday and 8:30 a.m. Monday.