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MEN’S GOLF: Irish trio competes at tough tournament

Bobby Griffin | Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Three members of the Notre Dame golf team had the opportunity to play on the biggest stage for college golf when they were invited to the U.S. Amateur Championship on Aug. 22 and 23 in Ardmore, Penn. at the Merion Golf Club.

Eric Deutsch, Eddie Peckels and Cole Isban all represented the Irish when they competed against the top amateur players in the country, something that was not only good for their confidence going into the season, but also for the Notre Dame program as a whole.

“It’s beneficial for the program,” Isban said before the event, referring to the exposure that having three golfers in such an event gives to a university. “[Playing the U.S. Amateur] is a step in the right direction.”

For a school that has been known for football, and recently, the women’s soccer national champions, anything that brings attention to the golf program is good.

This was not the first year that Isban, who is a two-time All-Big East selection and a 2005 Ping All-Midwest region selection, had been invited to play in this tournament.

Isban competed in the 2004 event, but he was not pleased with his performance due to the problems he encountered with the rainy weather.

Either way, he was not anxious going into the event.

“Not too nervous,” Isban said. “Playing last year was a good experience.

“In general, I kind of drew a bad draw with the weather last year. I didn’t play as well as I [would have] liked to. Things can kinda click or they don’t.”

Unfortunately, things did not click this year for the three Irish golfers, either. Isban, Deutsch and Peckels did not advance far.

Regardless, it was a major test for the Irish golfers, and it provided a formidable warm-up for the college season.

“It’s a thrill,” Isban said. “[The event is] probably the best stage you can compete on. It keeps us sharp going into the season.”

For Deutsch and Peckels, it was their first time in the event. Deutsch is a two-time All Big East selection and has finished in the top-5 in the previous two Minnesota State Amateur Championships.

The three amateur golfers will lead an Irish team this year in what should be a busy fall season.

Notre Dame plays a strong schedule that opens up at the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 17.