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Clubbers finish second in California

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Led by senior Cole Isban and freshman Doug Fortner, the Irish turned in a runner-up finish in the Triumph at Pauma Valley in Pauma Valley, Calif., before taking sixth place at the Border Olympics in Laredo, Tex., later in the week. Fortner finished fourth overall with a one-under par 212 at the Triumph. He then shot an eight-over par 224 at the Border Olympics. “Doug played very well and upped his game a little,” said Isban, a co-captain. “That’s what we’ve been looking for from him.” Isban also turned in two impressive performances, recording finishes of eighth and fifth overall. At the Border Olympics, his seven-under par 209 tied a 54-hole Notre Dame record. But Isban was disappointed with the overall Irish showing in Laredo. The Irish led midway through the second round before closing out poorly to end with the sixth-place mark. “It’s not exactly what we wanted,” he said. “We were playing very well, leading the field, then we fell apart a little.”Before the week, Isban had said the Irish had an opportunity to win one of the tournaments over spring break. He is not satisfied with his team’s performance. “We felt alright about it but, all in all, it was nothing exceptional,” he said. The Irish did, however, post other exceptional individual performances. Senior co-captain Adam Gifford had a career-best showing at the Triumph, finishing in fifth at even-par 213. Sophomore Josh Sandman had his best tournament of the spring season at the Border Olympics, tying for 21st place with an even-par 216. The Irish next return to the links for the Administaff Augusta State Invitational at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Ga., March 30-April 1.