Notre Dame Prep boys win three-team match at Kierland Golf Club
October 13, 2021 by Evan Rieser, Arizona State University
Evan Rieser is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Notre Dame Prep for AZPreps365.com.
The Notre Dame Prep boys golf team edged out both Paradise Valley and Horizon on Tuesday at Kierland Golf Club in one of the most dramatic matches of the 2021 season.
The Saints’ team score of 148 was exactly what they needed to beat Horizon by just one stroke in the end. Jackson McLaughlin, Daniel Rowe, Mitch Curran and Jack Taylor found themselves as the four scorers for the Saints where every stroke mattered.
McLaughlin led the charge for the Saints with a 2-under-par 34. Momentum was a huge part of McLaughlin’s success on Tuesday. After the first hole didn’t go his way, the second seemed to flip the switch.
“I definitely was able to pick up momentum on the second hole,” said McLaughlin. “I started with a bogey after an unplayable (shot) on the first. But at the second I put it at two feet and was able to tap in for birdie and turn it around from there.”
McLaughlin birdied both the second and third hole and didn’t look back from there, playing a bogey-free round the rest of the way.
McLaughlin wasn’t the only Saint to finish under par. Rowe finished 1-under-par with a 35 as the second-leading finisher for Notre Dame Prep. Rowe felt that he played well at both ends of the game with his driver and putter giving him the advantage in Tuesday’s match.
While some golfers felt the slow greens affected their rounds Tuesday, that was not the case for Rowe. The Saints sophomore said the team’s practice on slower greens made him confident and comfortable when putting. Off the tee, the freshman also kept everything in play and on the fairway, giving him opportunities to attack pin locations and find birdies and pars throughout his round.
Saints freshman Mitch Curran felt that his early adjustment to the slow-rolling greens limited their effect. After an early 3-putt, Curran focused on the mental element of putting.
“It’s all mental, putting for me,” said Curran. “If I just know I’m gonna two-putt it, I’m gonna two-putt it.” The freshman finished as the Saints’ third-lowest scorer with a 3-over-par 39.
Sophomore Jack Taylor’s 4-over-par 40 was highlighted by his sand save on the No. 9 and final hole, one of the most important shots for the Saints down the stretch. After his ball landed in a greenside bunker, Taylor hit a wedge shot that left him with a very makeable putt that he would go on to make to finish his round and secure the win over Horizon.
After a thrilling win at Kierland, Notre Dame Prep is right back at it with its last three-team match of the season against Cactus Shadows and Estrella Foothills on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at Troon North Golf Course. The first group is set to tee off at 3 p.m.