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Men’s Golf: Team takes eighth in Classic

Michael Bryan | Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Notre Dame finished in a tie for eighth in the second Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic Tuesday, shooting a total of 298 in the final round.

The Irish (289-295-298) ended the tournament at 42-over par, tied with San Diego. Notre Dame stood in third place out of twelve teams after the first round, but fell to sixth after a 16-over second day. No. 25 Michigan State (285-274-288) took first, leading all three rounds in an impressive 14-stroke victory.

Tied for second were No. 16 Lamar University and Arkansas with scores of 861 (14-over). Virginia and Baylor rounded out the top five, shooting totals of 868 and 870 respectively.

Sophomore Doug Fortner was Notre Dame’s best golfer this weekend, finishing tied for second place individually. Fortner (68-72-70) finished the tournament at even-par, and his 54 hole total of 210 was just one stroke off the Notre Dame record of 209, first set by Jeff Connell at the 1998 Marshall Invitational and matched by Cole Isban in 2007 at the Border Olympics.

Fortner and Virginia’s Greg Carlin finished five strokes back of Spartan medalist Ryan Brehm (72-64-69), whose final round 69 put him at five-under for the tournament. Fortner’s previous best tournament score was 212 at last year’s Triumph at Pauma Valley, where he finished fourth.

Other top Notre Dame finishers included junior Josh Sandman, who finished in a tie for 15th. Sandman fired a one-over 71 in the third round for a three-round total of 217 (seven-over).

Several Irish golfers that did not start but competed as individuals were among Notre Dame’s top performers. Sophomore Kyle Willis tied for eighteenth at 8-over, the best finish of his Irish career. Freshmen Tyler Hock and Jeff Chen also shot scores of 10 and 11 over to finish in the top 40.

Finishing third among the Irish starters was senior Greg Rodgers, who tied for 50th with a score of 16-over. Fellow senior Eddie Peckels tied for 52nd at 19-over, and sophomore Carl Santos-Ocampo rounded out the Notre Dame starters with a total of 30-over.

Other Irish players competing as individuals included freshman Connor Alan-Lee, senior Mike King, sophomore Olavo Batista, and freshman Dustin Zhang. Alan-Lee finished strong with a 71 in the third round, giving him a 15-over total.

King and Batista tied for 56th with scores of 236, 21-over. Zhang’s final round 81 put him in 69th place with a score of 34-over.

The Irish will be right back in action this weekend, traveling to Durham, North Carolina to compete in the Coca-Cola Duke Golf Classic October 7-8.