Cole Isban became the first three-time all-region golfer in school history when he collected his third honor on Wednesday from the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). <i>(photo by Todd Drexler/Sideline Sports)</i>

Irish Surge Into Third Place After Two Rounds Of Triumph At Pauma Valley

March 13, 2007

PAUMA VALLEY, Calif. – Looking refreshed and invigorated after a three-week hiatus, the Notre Dame men’s golf team charged into third place after Monday’s first two rounds of the inaugural Triumph at Pauma Valley, hosted by the University of San Francisco at the Pauma Valley Country Club (par 71/7,077 yards) in Pauma Valley, Calif. The Irish stand at nine-over par 577 (291-286) through 36 holes, putting them just four strokes back of tournament leader Saint Mary’s (Calif.) and three behind No. 32 Wisconsin heading into Tuesday’s final round.

Notre Dame has been boosted by a trio of golfers currently among the top 10 in the 81-man field. Playing just 90 minutes from his hometown in Orange County, freshman Doug Fortner (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) is enjoying the best outing of his brief college career, moving into a tie for fifth place at one-under par 141 (69-72). Fortner’s opening-round 69 was a career low, topping the 71 he shot in the second round of the season-opening Gopher Invitational back on Sept. 17 in Wayzata, Minn. He will enter Tuesday’s third round five shots out of the lead, which is shared by Jason D’Amore of Loyola Marymount and Wisconsin’s Pat Duffy.

Senior co-captain Adam Gifford (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) also looked sharp on Monday, owning a share of seventh place at even-par 142 (73-69) through two rounds, bolstering his effort with a career-low score in the second round. Senior All-America candidate Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) is one stroke behind his teammate in a ninth-place tie at one-over par 143 (73-70). Rounding out the Irish scoring are sophomore Josh Sandman (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford), who is tied for 42nd place at nine-over par 151 (76-75), while junior Eddie Peckels (Pinehurst, N.C./Pope John Paul II (Fla.)) is in a 70th-place tie at 14-over par 156 (78-78).

Notre Dame will return to the course Tuesday beginning at 9:40 a.m. PT (12:40 p.m. ET in South Bend) for the final round of the Triumph at Pauma Valley, with Notre Dame’s starting five scheduled to go off at 10-minute intervals from the No. 1 tee. Live in-progress scoring for the tournament is available through the Golfstat web site, and the latest results will be posted here on the official Notre Dame athletics web site upon completion of the day’s action. Fans also can obtain updates on the Irish at the Triumph at Pauma Valley through the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000) and the Irish ALERT text message system (click here for more details).

— ND —

Triumph at Pauma Valley
March 12, 2007 — Pauma Valley, Calif.
Pauma Valley Country Club (par 71/7,077 yards)

TEAM RESULTS (36-hole totals): 1. Saint Mary’s (Calif.) 573 (283-290); 2. Wisconsin 574 (291-283); 3. NOTRE DAME 577 (291-286); 4. San Diego 580 (298-282); 5. Loyola Marymount 584 (290-294); 6. (tie) Long Beach State 587 (291-296) and UC Santa Barbara 587 (290-297); 8. Campbell 591 (297-294); 9. Santa Clara 592 (298-294); 10. (tie) Hartford 595 (301-294) and San Francisco 595 (298-297); 12. Cal Poly 598 (299-299); 13. Air Force 601 (293-308); 14. Weber State 602 (304-298); 15. San Francisco `B’ 608 (300-308); 16. Cal State Monterey Bay 610 (296-314).

TOP FOUR INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME FINISHERS (of 81): 1. (tie) Jason D’Amore (Loyola Marymount) 136 (66-70) and Pat Duffy (Wisconsin) 136 (72-64); 3. (tie) Mike McRae (Saint Mary’s) 140 (70-70) and Robert McRae (Saint Mary’s) 140 (69-71); 5. (tie) Doug Fortner (Notre Dame) 141 (69-72); 7. (tie) Adam Gifford (Notre Dame) 142 (73-69); 9. (tie) Cole Isban (Notre Dame) 143 (73-70); 42. (tie) Josh Sandman (Notre Dame) 151 (76-75); 70. (tie) Eddie Peckels (Notre Dame) 156 (78-78).