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ND Men’s Golf: Sandman earns third place overall

Pat Stynes | Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Irish coach Jim Kubinski certainly knew what he was talking about when he said Junior Josh Sandman “has the talent to mix it up with the top players.”

Over spring break, Sandman played the best golf of his career, posting a score of seven-over par and leading Notre Dame to a 12th place finish at the USC Collegiate Invitational.

Sandman finished in third place individually, just two shots behind tournament winner, USC’s Tim Slutiter.

“Josh is as physically talented as any player in the country. He is growing both emotionally and in his decision making,” Kubinski said. “I’ve seen several top players grow in leaps and bounds from their freshman year to their junior year. Josh is in that position.”

But the 12th place finish for the Irish was not solely based on Sandman’s strong showing. Sophomore Doug Fortner did well in his return to his home state of California, shooting 17-over par and placing 39th. But the sophomore’s first-round 81 handicapped his strong finish. He posted scores of 74 and 75 in the second and third rounds, respectively.

Freshman Connor Alan-Lee and sophomore Kyle Willis also contributed to the Notre Dame’s success. Each player shot 21-over par, tying for 56th place in the tournament. Like Fortner, both underclassmen had trouble with the wind. But each player finished strong with second and third rounds of 75 and 77, respectively.

The Irish will continue their season this weekend in Statesboro, Georgia, where the team will participate in the Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational, which is hosted by Georgia Southern.