Junior tri-captain Cole Isban, who was named to the PING All-Midwest Region Team for the second consecutive year, will compete for a berth in the 2006 U.S. Open at a sectional qualifier Monday in St. Charles, Ill.

Cole Isban Holds Two-Shot Lead Entering Final Round Of The Prestige At PGA WEST

Nov. 1, 2004

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Sophomore Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) fired a two-over par 146 on Monday and leads by two strokes heading into the third and final round of The Prestige at PGA WEST, which is being held in La Quinta, Calif., at the par-72, 7,156-yard Greg Norman Course at the famed PGA WEST complex. Isban was one of only six golfers in the 84-man field to shoot par or better in either of Monday’s two rounds, carding a 72 over the opening 18 holes before tacking on a 74 in the afternoon session.

In the team standings, Notre Dame is in 12th place after posting a two-round total of 57-over par 633 (311-322). The Irish had jumped into a tie for fourth place after the opening round, but slipped back in the field during the second circuit. Still, Notre Dame is not far behind some of the tournament’s higher-powered squads — 17th-ranked BYU is only four strokes ahead of the Irish in 11th place, while No. 23 Oklahoma is 10 shots in front of Notre Dame in seventh place and No. 10 TCU is 12 strokes away in fifth place. Tournament co-host UC Davis has a one-stroke lead over 16th-ranked UCLA going into Tuesday’s final round.

Isban’s day got off to an inauspicious start as he bogeyed two of his first three holes. However, he quickly rebounded to reel off five birdies in his next 20 holes, with only a double bogey late in his first round marring the scorecard. When the day was done, Isban had collected seven birdies and seemingly tamed the monstrous course that ravaged the field to the tune of a 79.96 stroke average through two rounds.

Isban’s teammates could attest to the difficulty of the course, which was magnified at times by blustery conditions. Freshman Greg Rodgers (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul’s) was the next highest Irish finisher behind Isban in a tie for 57th place at 18-over par 162 (79-83), while classmate Mike King (Sidney, Ohio/Sidney) is one stroke further back in a 59th-place tie at 163 (79-84). King did have the other marquee moment of the day for Notre Dame, carding an eagle on the par-five second hole, one of seven eagles registered by the field on Monday. Junior Scott Gustafson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) is another stroke behind King in a tie for 62nd place at 20-over par 164 (81-83) and junior Eric Deutsch (Rochester, Minn./Lourdes) is two shots behind Gustafson in a 67th-place deadlock at 22-over par 166 (84-82).

Isban will seek to become Notre Dame’s first tournament medalist since Steve Ratay earned a share of the 2001 BIG EAST Conference Championship when the final round of The Prestige at PGA WEST tees off Tuesday beginning at 7:30 a.m. (PT). Live hole-by-hole scoring from the tournament will be available on-line at www.golfstat.com.

TEAM RESULTS (36-hole totals): 1. UC Davis 609 (306-303); 2. UCLA 610 (302-308); 3. UC Irvine 612 (305-307); 4. Kansas 618 (313-305); 5. TCU 621 (315-306); 6. Texas Tech 622 (311-311); 7. Oklahoma 623 (315-308); 8. Oregon 626 (312-314); 9. Pepperdine 627 (314-313); 10. Stanford 628 (313-315); 11. BYU 629 (315-314); 12. NOTRE DAME 633 (311-322); 13. (tie) Colorado 636 (318-318) and Pacific 636 (317-319); 15. Northern Colorado 655 (320-335); 16. Yale 665 (336-329).

TOP SEVEN INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME FINISHERS (of 84): 1. Cole Isban (Notre Dame) 146 (72-74); 2. Erik Hill (UC Davis) 148 (71-77); 3. (tie) Brian Edick (UC Irvine) 149 (73-76), J.J. Killeen (TCU) 149 (77-72) and Kevin Ward (Kansas) 149 (75-74); 6. (tie) Shaun Melville (Texas Tech) 150 (73-77) and Garrett Sapp (UC Irvine) 150 (76-74); 57. (tie) Greg Rodgers (Notre Dame) 162 (79-83); 59. (tie) Mike King (Notre Dame) 163 (79-84); 62. (tie) Scott Gustafson (Notre Dame) 164 (81-83); 67. (tie) Eric Deutsch (Notre Dame) 166 (84-82).

— ND —