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Irish finish in 6th

Eric Retter | Monday, September 20, 2004

In the sporting world, good things can happen when a challenge is presented.The Irish certainly challenged themselves this weekend, as they hosted the anticipated field for the 2005 NCAA Regionals in the Notre Dame Invitational. It can easily be argued that the Irish, who were ranked 92nd in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index before the weekend, accomplished the former as well, finishing sixth out of a field of 15 teams, most of whom were ranked ahead of them. The team finished with a total score of 892, 21 strokes behind tournament champions Kent State, but only four strokes out of third place. Sophomore Cole Isban led the team this weekend, finishing in a three-way tie for fourth place. He finished with a three-day total of 216, a total that included a career best 2-under par-68 on Sunday. Irish coach John Jasinski was very pleased in the performance of his rising star, but says Isban still has a way to go before becoming a true No. 1 player.”My definition of a No. 1 is fairly strict. In the NCAA finals, really only about 15 teams go in there with the mindset that they’ll win it. The No. 1 on a top-15 team like that always gives you the ability to hid a bad round, and he’s not at that point yet,” Jasinski said about Isban, before concluding “The good thing is that he wants to be that guy, and all the intangibles are part of his game.”Despite this Jasinski is still very confident about the makeup of his team and its’ prospects for the season.”The neat part about our team is that we keep finding more and more guys who can contribute good rounds,” he said.One of those contributors is junior Eric Deutsch, who finished in a tie for 12th place with a 10-over par 220. In two tough tournaments, Deutsch has posted two top-20 performances, a good start by any standards. Deutsch, who is very close to teammate Scott Gustafson who was injured in a car accident Thursday took his friend’s misfortune very hard. However, according to Jasinski, he showed great mental fortitude in his performance this weekend.”He wasn’t sure he’d be able to play,” Jasinski said about Deutsch’s initial reaction to the accident, “but he was able to turn that around and go perform. His attention to what the team needed was extremely good.”Gustafson is recovering from his injuries, and should rejoin the Irish team in three weeks to a month. His absence will provide an opportunity for some of the team’s younger players to be thrown into the mix a little bit more.Two of those players were freshmen Greg Rodgers and Mike King, who finished tied for 37th place after finishing with 228s. Sophomore Shane Sigsbee, playing in his first event this season and turned in a 239 to finish in 72nd. Despite the scare and the loss of one of his better players, Jasinski sees an opportunity for a positive to come from the accident.”Our team chemistry hasn’t been such where there’s a big push to take the bull by the horns,” Jasinski said. “Everyone knows [Gustafson] played a huge role, and now there’s going to be pressure on some other guys, who could really step up in his absence.”