Senior Greg Rodgers is tied for fifth after 36 holes at the Gopher Invitational.  Rodgers shot 69-74 for a one-under par 143 in his first two rounds for 2007-08.

Sharp Final Round Boosts Irish Into Eighth Place At Boilermaker Invitational

April 8, 2007

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Junior Greg Rodgers (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul’s School) carded a season-low 72 in the final round, helping Notre Dame jump up into a tie for eighth place at the Boilermaker Invitational, which concluded Sunday afternoon on the Kampen Course (par 72/7,338 yards) at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind. The Irish shot a 34-over par 610 (316-294) in the weather-shortened 36-hole event, finishing even with Midwest District rival Wisconsin after posting the fourth-lowest team score of the final round — Michigan State took the team title at 593 (+17).

Notre Dame also picked up a pair of key victories this weekend in a bid to enhance its NCAA postseason resume. The Irish ended up ahead of four shots clear of Baylor (No. 31 Golfweek/No. 34 Golfstat) and two strokes ahead of Washington (No. 33 Golfweek/No. 31 Golfstat), along with its tie with Wisconsin (No. 32 Golfweek/No. 29 Golfstat). Coming into the tournament, the Irish were ranked 57th by Golfweek and 64th by Golfstat.

Senior All-America candidate Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) was Notre Dame’s top individual finisher, sharing 15th place at six-over par 150 (76-74). Isban wound up eight strokes behind medalist Ryan Brehm of Michigan State (142, -2), while posting his eighth top-20 finish of the season.

Sophomore Josh Sandman (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) fired a sharp final-round 73 and moved up to tie for 24th place at eight-over par 152 (79-73). Sandman now has placed in the top 25 at seven of 10 tournaments this year, including two of the past three events.

Rodgers, who was playing in his first tournament of the spring, made the biggest jump for the Irish on Sunday, vaulting into a 36th-place deadlock at 10-over par 154 (82-72). Prior to Sunday, Rodgers had not seen action since the CordeValle Collegiate in late October and his previous low round of the year was a 74 (+2) that he established on four occasions.

Senior co-captain Adam Gifford (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) finished in a tie for 43rd place at 11-over par 155 (80-75), while freshman Doug Fortner (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) completed the Irish scoring in a tie for 64th place at 15-over par 159 (81-78).

Notre Dame will have one final opportunity to tune up for the BIG EAST Conference Championships when it travels to Columbus, Ohio, next weekend (April 14-15) for the Kepler Intercollegiate, hosted by Ohio State on the Scarlet Course at the Ohio State Golf Club. The conference tournament is set for April 22-24 at the Cardinal Club in Louisville, Ky.

— ND —

Boilermaker Invitational
April 7-8, 2007 * West Lafayette, Ind.
Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex/Kampen Course (par 72/7,338 yards)

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS (36 holes): 1. Michigan State 593 (301-292); 2. (tie) Purdue 602 (300-302) and Northwestern 602 (308-294); 4. Auburn 607 (311-296); 5. Michigan 608 (315-293); 6. (tie) Ohio State 609 (316-293) and Indiana 609 (308-301); 8. (tie) NOTRE DAME 610 (316-294) and Wisconsin 610 (312-298); 10. Illinois 611 (310-301); 11. Washington 612 (311-301); 12. Baylor 614 (315-299); 13. Oklahoma 619 (321-298); 14. Missouri 621 (318-303); 15. Toledo 627 (325-302).

TOP THREE INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME FINISHERS (of 80): 1. Ryan Brehm (Michigan State) 142 (72-70); 2. Jeff Kaiser (Wisconsin) 146 (74-72); 3. Tom Oliver (Purdue) 147 (77-70); 15. (tie) Cole Isban (Notre Dame) 150 (76-74); 24. (tie) Josh Sandman (Notre Dame) 152 (79-73); 36. (tie) Greg Rodgers (Notre Dame) 154 (82-72); 43. (tie) Adam Gifford (Notre Dame) 155 (80-75); 64. (tie) Doug Fortner (Notre Dame) 159 (81-78).