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Men’s Golf: Weather could wreak havoc on Boilermaker Invite

Chris Doyen | Thursday, April 5, 2007

The toughest opponent Notre Dame will face this weekend at the Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind., might not even swing a club. While Big Ten schools – including Ohio St., Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan St. and host Purdue – will make up part of the field, the Irish might have to devote just as much attention to the inclement weather. “It’s not going to be focused as much on pure golf and scoring really low,” senior co-captain Cole Isban said. “It’s going to be more of almost a survival test with how bad the weather is supposed to be. Being a northern team, I think we might have an advantage there.”With flurries possible on Saturday and high temperatures not expected to break 44 degrees, the Irish will have the opportunity to put their well-developed cold weather games to the test.Notre Dame has another reason to head into the weekend with some confidence. The team is very familiar with the Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Complex, the site of the tournament. “We’ve played there a number of times,” Isban said. “We’ve had a couple of tournaments there, and we even had NCAA Regionals there three years ago. We’ve been there a lot.”The rest of the field, while solid, is not quite as strong as it was last weekend at the AdminiStaff Augusta State Invitational in Evans, Ga. “You always like to win,” Isban said. “But it’s a good field, even though it might not be as strong as Augusta State’s.” In order for the Irish to have a good showing, Isban, an All-America candidate, will have to use his experience to lead the way through the harsh conditions. Fellow co-captain Adam Gifford will try to use momentum from his one-under-par 71 in Georgia to carry him to another low score in West Lafayette. After the Boilermaker Invitational, the Big East tournament is only two weeks away, April 22-24 in Louisville.