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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Irish look to build on recent third-place finish at Tar Heel Intercollegiate

Coming off a third-place finish at the Schenkel Invitational, Notre Dame will be competing in the Tar Heel Intercollegiate, hosted by North Carolina, this weekend.

At their last tournament, hosted by Georgia Southern, the Irish finished third out of a field of 14, with the team combining for a three-under-par 861. Senior captain Miguel Delgado led the way for the Irish with a four-under-par 212 on the weekend, good for a tie for fifth place overall, while freshman Andrew O’Leary also notched a top-10 finish, tying for seventh with a three-under-par 213. Junior Davis Lamb posted a four-under-par final round of 68, landing him in a tie for 13th on the weekend with a one-under 215.

Michelle Mehelas | The Observer
Junior Hunter Ostrom watches a putt during the Fighting Irish Classic at Warren Golf Course on Oct. 8.

Looking forward to the Tar Heel Intercollegiate, Irish head coach John Handrigan expressed his thoughts on the level of competition the team is expecting this weekend.

“One of our goals is to play a very competitive schedule and to play in the best tournaments in the country,” he said. “[North Carolina] has a great field this week. [With] a lot of top programs, it is going to be a good test for us.”

Handrigan said he has confidence in his team going into the tournament.

“All of the players that we have are good, and each one of them could perform at the highest level,” he said. “We have a lot of depth in our lineup, and I can foresee each one of these guys having a good week.”

The last time the Irish competed in Tar Heel Intercollegiate was in September of the 2012-2013 season, and a major challenge this weekend, Handrigan said, will be to compete against schools who play all year round.

However, Handrigan said the team is heading into this tournament with a lot of confidence.

“We kind of go in there with a chip on our shoulder just knowing that they might be a little more prepared because of their climate, but it’s a lot more motivation for us to realize that … we can still play well and compete against those top teams,” he said.

Handrigan also noted that the expected weather forecast for the weekend could end up benefitting Notre Dame.

“The weather is not going to be great,” he said. “It looks like it is going to be cold and windy down there. That plays into our strengths, because we are a pretty tough team mentally. Being from Indiana right now, we’re kind of used to that weather.”

This season has been a bumpy one for the men’s golf team. The squad has competed in tournaments across the country, as close as Wisconsin and as far as California, and Handrigan said he has seen plenty of growth from the players.

“This team is really motivated to get better, week in and week out,” he said, adding that a notable focus of this year’s team is the “team culture and character of our players.”

Following the Tar Heel Intercollegiate, the Irish will have two tournaments remaining before the ACC Championships — the Augusta Invitational, hosted by Augusta University, and the Boilermaker Invitation, hosted by Purdue. The Tar Heel Intercollegiate starts Saturday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.