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Men’s Golf: Freshman nails second hole-in-one

Fran Tolan | Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Notre Dame finished second in a 12-team field Tuesday on its home course as it watched one of its freshman card a hole-in-one for the second consecutive tournament as the Irish hosted the inaugural Gridiron Golf Classic at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course.

Freshman Carl Santos-Ocampo, who played as an individual not on the team scorecard, recorded a hole-in-one for the second straight event. Santos-Ocampo registered the ace on the par-3 fourth hole.

He also accomplished the feat Sept. 26 in the third round of the John Dallio Memorial in Chicago.

“I’m not sure that’s ever been done in college competition,” Kubinski said.

Isban was pleased with the hole-in-one and also wasn’t disappointed with Notre Dame’s play. He noted that the Irish defeated four teams that had been ranked higher than Notre Dame entering the tournament.

Baylor, Florida State, Vanderbilt and Augusta State had each received more votes in the Sagarin Performance Index than the Irish had before the Gridiron Classic.

“We beat some good teams,” Isban said. “For our team to finish second, I was pretty pleased.”

Lamar University ran away with the victory as it carded a 20-over-par 860, 29 strokes ahead of the runner-up Irish.

“I think we should have been a little more competitive with Lamar,” senior captain Cole Isban said.

Irish coach Jim Kubinski said that, before the event began, he had hoped to finish among the top three this week.

“I’m happy with [our performance],” Kubinski said.

He also pointed out that some strong teams played in the event.

“After the season’s over, I think we’ll look back and see five or six NCAA [regional-qualifying] teams,” Kubinski said.

The Irish trailed by 19 shots after the first two rounds Monday. They lost more ground to Lamar Tuesday, which finished No. 8 in last season’s Golfstat rankings.

“We played a little better [Monday],” Kubinski said. “The hole placements were a little tougher for the final round and the weather was worse.”

Leading the way for the Irish was Isban, who finished in second place after a heartbreaking sequence on the eighteenth hole of the final round.

Lamar’s Justin Harding, who was tied with Isban after 53 holes of tournament play, made a 25-yard chip shot to birdie the final hole of the event while Isban watched from the fairway.

“He had a tough shot and hit it too hard, but it just caught the hole,” Isban said.

Isban, who celebrated his birthday Tuesday, then narrowly missed a long birdie putt that would have put him into a playoff against Harding.

“Cole just missed the putt,” Kubinski said.

Isban recorded a par and finished with a 4-over-par 214, good for a second-place tie with Vanderbilt’s Luke List.

“I’m happy with the way I played,” Isban said. “There’s not really much you can do about [the close loss].”

Isban was joined by sophomore Josh Sandman (+12), senior Adam Gifford (+15), freshman Doug Fortner (+18) and junior Mike King (+25) as the top five scorers for the Irish.