Sept. 3, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The Notre Dame men’s golf team opened the 2016-17 season with an emphatic 27-stroke victory in their annual Kickoff Challenge at the Warren Golf Course. The Fighting Irish shot a 11-under par 557 (278-279) which is the program’s lowest 36-hole tournament score, besting the previous mark by five strokes. In the three team tournament, Valparaiso placed second (584), followed by Detroit (590).
Player of the Tournament
Freshman John Felitto shot a seven-under par 135 to earn medalist honors in his first career start. After carding a one-under par 70 in the morning round, he caught fire and shot a 65 in the afternoon, which tied for the fourth-best round in the Irish records book (sorted by strokes). In addition, his seven-under par 135 ranks as the lowest 36-hole tournament score in the Notre Dame records book.
Felitto on the win …
“It was really satisfying because I came into today knowing I needed to shoot some low numbers in order to qualify for our first full team event next weekend at the Olympic Club. Everyone is playing really well so I’m just glad I was able to get the win.”
Freshmen Lead The Irish
In addition to Felitto, freshman Hunter Ostrom shot a four-under par 138 to place third in his collegiate debut. Playing at the No. 1 spot in the Notre Dame lineup, both of Ostrom rounds counted towards Notre Dame’s winning team score.
Notre Dame’s Scores
1 -- John Felitto (70-65-135)
3 -- Hunter Ostrom (71-67-138)
T4 -- Thomas Steve (71-68-139)
T4 -- Matthew Rushton (68-71-139)
6 -- Miguel Delgado (70-71-141)
T7 -- Blake Barens (69-73-142)
T7 -- Liam Cox (72-70-142)
9 -- Ben Albin (70-73-143)
10 -- Kevin Conners (72-73-145)
16 -- Davis Lamb (76-74-150)
Coach Kubinski Says
On the competition within the team …
"We’ve been excited since school started with the number of competitive rounds our guys have been putting up. I think it bodes well for the season and keeps us that much sharper, everyone is trying to beat each other to get in that lineup."
On the play of freshmen Hunter Ostram and John Felitto …
"We knew coming in, based on their play the last 12 months, they were going to be tough to beat. John with the win today, shooting 135 is really strong play on this golf course so we’re proud of those guys in their first tournament.”
Looking ahead …
"We head to Olympic Club next weekend so we’re going to figure this lineup out over the next few days and playoff for some spots. I think, when you shoot these numbers, it shows the ‘all in’ approach these guys are taking and that’s what we have needed the last few years. This should give us a lot of momentum heading out on the road for the first time this season.”