Senior Adam Gifford earned all-BIG EAST honors for the first time in his career, tying for fifth place at 213 (-3) in the BIG EAST Championship which concluded Tuesday.

Irish Sharp On BIG EAST Moving Day, Rise To Second Place After Two Rounds

April 23, 2007

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. – Senior co-captain Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) shared low-round honors on Monday with a four-under par 68, and Notre Dame dipped into red numbers for the first time in more than a month, as the Irish rose up to second place after two rounds at the 2007 BIG EAST Conference Championship, being played at the Cardinal Club in Simpsonville, Ky. (located outside Louisville). Notre Dame currently stands at two-over par 578 (291-287), while tournament host (and 19th-ranked) Louisville has the overnight lead at 562 (-14).

The three-time defending conference champion Irish had an early tee time on Monday and made the most of it, going out in seven-under par, with Isban reeling off four birdies on his first six holes. However, the winds picked up and the skies darkened as the day wore on and scores across the board rose, particularly on the back nine. Still, Notre Dame finished one-under par for the day, its best round since closing with a 287 at the Border Olympics (Laredo, Texas) on March 17.

Isban rebounded nicely after an uncharacteristic poor performance in Sunday’s opening round, when he fired a 76 (+4) and saw his score dropped from the team total for just the second time all season. The Irish veteran joined Louisville’s Daryl Fathauer for the best score on Monday, bringing him back to even-par 144 for the tournament and tying him for eighth place on the individual ladder.

Isban’s classmate and co-captain, Adam Gifford (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) continues to be one of the feel-good stories of the season for Notre Dame, as the former walk-on moved into a tie for second place at three-under par 141 (69-72) heading into Tuesday’s final round. Gifford is two strokes behind Fathauer and has matched the school 36-hole scoring record in BIG EAST Championship play, a mark set twice before (Todd Vernon in 1997; current sophomore Josh Sandman in 2006).

Sandman (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) held steady in the second round, keeping his position in a 13th-place tie at three-over par 147 (73-74). Junior Greg Rodgers (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul’s School) stepped up into a tie for 17th place at four-over par 148 (75-73), while freshman Doug Fortner (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) kept his spot in a 19th-place deadlock at five-over par 149 (74-75).

Fortner will lead off for Notre Dame in Tuesday’s final round at 8:50 a.m. (ET) from the first tee at the Cardinal Club, with the rest of the Irish following at 10-minute intervals. Live in-progress scoring (updated every nine holes) is available on the Golfstat web site and full results will be posted here on the official Notre Dame athletics web site ( at the conclusion of Tuesday’s action, as well as on the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000).

— ND —

BIG EAST Championship
April 22-23, 2007 • Simpsonville, Ky.
Cardinal Club (par 72/7,036 yards)

TEAM SCORES (36-hole totals): 1. Louisville 562 (283-279); 2. NOTRE DAME 578 (291-287); 3. Marquette 584 (290-294); 4. DePaul 585 (293-292); 5. St. John’s 586 (289-297); 6. Seton Hall 603 (304-299); 7. Villanova 606 (306-300); 8. (tie) Connecticut 608 (311-297) and Georgetown 608 (302-306); 10. South Florida 610 (296-314); 11. Cincinnati 612 (305-307); 12. Rutgers 629 (313-316).

TOP SIX INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME GOLFERS (of 60): 1. Daryl Fathauer (Louisville) 139 (71-68); 2. (tie) Adam Gifford (Notre Dame) 141 (69-72), Adam Hadwin (Louisville) 141 (72-69) and Adam Rainaud (Louisville) 141 (67-74); 5. (tie) Greg Doherty (DePaul) 142 (70-72) and Mike Van Sickle (Marquette) 142 (66-76); 8. (tie) Cole Isban (Notre Dame) 144 (76-68); 13. (tie) Josh Sandman (Notre Dame) 147 (73-74); 17. (tie) Greg Rodgers (Notre Dame) 148 (75-73); 19. (tie) Doug Fortner (Notre Dame) 149 (74-75).