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Irish disappointed in Hawaii tourney result

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Notre Dame concluded its fall season with a disappointing eighth place finish in the Aloha Purdue College Invitational at the Kiahuna Golf Club in Poipu, Hawaii Thursday. No. 23 Texas won the event with a three-round tally of 847 – 27 strokes better than Notre Dame.

The top two Irish players, sophomore Josh Sandman and senior co-captain Cole Isban each finished in the top 20 with scores of 215 and 216, respectively.

Sandman’s first-round 66 was a personal low, while Isban’s opening-round 69 was his third score in the 60s this season.

Neither Sandman nor Isban recorded an under-par total for the event.

Isban, who finished at 6-over par, cited that inconsistency as one of the reasons for the team’s lackluster performance.

“Every week before this either Josh or myself has been under par,” he said. “I think that had a big impact on the whole team.”

Senior co-captain Adam Gifford tied for 23rd place in the tournament with a career-best 9-over-par 219. Junior Eddie Peckels and freshman Carl Santos-Ocampo rounded out the lineup for the Irish, who finished three shots behind top-ranked Alabama. Peckels carded a 14-over-par 224 and ended up in 36th place, while Santos-Ocampo wrapped up his first event for the Irish with a 26-over-par 236.

After rising to No. 45 in the Golfweek rankings and defeating three teams that were ranked ahead of them at The Prestige Oct. 16-17 in La Quinta, Calif., the Irish finished 11th in the CordeValle Collegiate Nov. 6-7.

The team’s hopes to finish on a high note were dashed Thursday.

“We played pretty bad golf,” said Isban, who placed 20th or better in all five of his tournaments this year. “The season wasn’t great by any means. We weren’t happy with our finish here or at the CordeValle.”

The Irish will begin practice for the spring season in January.

“We’re going to take a little break,” Isban said. “When we come back, we’re going to go at it hard.”