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MEN’S GOLF: Tough second round drops Irish to sixth

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Irish slipped Monday after a promising start at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic at the Warren Golf Course, falling from third to sixth place after a rough second round.

After a solid opening round of 289 put Notre Dame in third place – just four strokes behind leader Michigan State – the Irish fell three places with a round of 295 (15-over).

While the Irish struggled, the Spartans fired a six-under 274 to open up a 14-shot lead over Baylor.

Notre Dame also trails third-place Arkansas, fourth-place Lamar and fifth-place North Florida entering the final round today.

“We wanted to get into that final pairing and trust our preparation and course knowledge could get us an opportunity to get a win,” Irish coach Jim Kubinski said.

Unfortunately for Notre Dame, the team will have to make up 25 shots to catch the Spartans.

Irish sophomore Doug Fortner, who entered the day tied for first, fired a 72 to enter a four-way tie for second. Despite a rocky front nine, Fortner rallied to birdie three of the last six holes to finish at two-over on the round.

Fortner trails leader Ryan Brehm by four shots after the Spartan fired a six-under second round Monday. Brehm is at four under par for the tournament entering the third round. Tied with Fortner at even par are Michigan State’s Jack Newman, Baylor’s Cody Paladino, and Georgetown’s Vicenzo Salina.

Junior Josh Sandman is second among Irish golfers, currently in a tie for 15th after a second round of 73. Sandman, who shot an opening round of 71, was in seventh place entering the final hole but finished with a double-bogey.

One shot behind Sandman were freshman Tyler Hock and sophomore Kyle Willis. Together, the Irish underclassmen are at five-over but are competing as individuals in the tournament.

After Fortner and Sandman, however, the Irish starters struggled throughout the second round.

“Warren Golf Course is a tremendous test,” Kubinski said. “The conditions were tough as well.”

Wet conditions from overnight storms led tournament officials to invoke the “lift, clean, and place” rule for the second round.

Irish senior starters Greg Rodgers and Eddie Peckels are tied for 41st at 10-over after rounds of 76 and 74. Sophomore Carl Santos-Ocampo is the last of the Irish starters, tied for 65th at 20-over.

Virginia and Colorado State are tied for seventh behind Notre Dame and trail the Irish by six shots. Iowa ranks ninth of 12 teams with a total of 36-over.

Tee times for the third and final round will begin at 8:30 a.m. today at Warren Golf Course, with Irish starters teeing off the first tee in 10-minute intervals.