April 18, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame senior golf standout and All-America candidate Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) is featured this week in a student-athlete profile as part of the “Around Campus” segment at Golfweek.tv, the on-line web site for Golfweek magazine. Isban is the second member of the Irish men’s golf program to be interviewed by the web site this year, with third-year head coach Jim Kubinski appearing in his own profile back on Feb. 21 during the “On The Spot” program, hosted by Asher Wildman.
Isban’s interview on Golfweek TV can be found at the following link: Isban Profile On Golfweek TV.
Isban has been one of the cornerstone players for Notre Dame the past four seasons, helping the Irish win three consecutive BIG EAST Conference titles and advance to NCAA regional play each year. A two-time PING All-Midwest Region selection, Isban holds the school’s single-season stroke average record (72.97 in 2005-06) and is threatening to break that mark this year with a 72.87 stroke average through 11 tournaments. He also is tops in school history with a 73.82 career stroke average, and recently tied the school’s 54-hole scoring record by carding 209 (-7) on March 16-17 at the Border Olympics in Laredo, Texas.
Isban, a two-time all-BIG EAST selection, will lead the Irish in search of their fourth BIG EAST title in a row when Notre Dame competes in the 2007 BIG EAST Championship Sunday-Tuesday (April 22-24) at the Cardinal Club in Louisville, Ky. The Irish have posted seven top-10 finishes this year against one of the nation’s 50 toughest schedules, but are coming off disappointing performances at a pair of weather-shortened tournaments the past two weekends at Purdue (tied for eighth) and Ohio State (11th), as well as a 17th-place showing at the Administaff Augusta State Invitational to open the month of April.
“We’re certainly disappointed with our play over the last three events,” Kubinski said. “We showed great improvement and strong signs of a young team finally arriving over Spring Break last month with a second-place finish in San Diego (at the Triumph at Pauma Valley). We finished off that break by playing 45 of the 54 holes in Laredo at 17-under as a team. Our recent stretch of play has been a small step back, but we still feel we can accomplish our goals for the season and show what the `fight’ in Fighting Irish means.
“Obviously, having consecutive events shortened due to inclement weather didn’t help us,” he added. “However, I feel our inconsistent play has more to do with our top players failing to keep up with the other teams’ best, more so than weather or any other single factor. The top of our lineup really needs to step up. When your No. 1 player can turn in scores comparable to other No. 1’s, it not only helps the arithmetic of your team score, but it gives a great psychological lift to the whole team.
“To be successful at the national level, all teams a need a `top gun’ leading the way,” Kubinski concluded. “A great example of this was Coastal Carolina’s Dustin Johnson in Augusta State’s event. He fired 68 in each round — for 12-under through 54 holes — and Coastal beat North Carolina by a shot. We’ve yet to enjoy those type of numbers this spring. It’s similar to a baseball team’s No. 1 starting pitcher. You count on that pitcher to give you innings and to give you a chance to win every fifth day. In golf, you look for your No. 1 to keep it around par and throw in a few par breakers when the conditions allow for it. We need that. If we can get that scoring leadership, this team can be very, very good. We’ll be able to beat more top teams over 54 holes rather than 18 or 36.”
— ND —