Oct. 13, 2008
LA QUINTA, Calif. - The Notre Dame men's golf team carded a two-round total of 32-over par 608 and finds itself in ninth place after Monday's opening 36 holes of The Prestige at PGA WEST, which is being contested on the Greg Norman Course (par 72/7,156 yards) at the PGA WEST facility in La Quinta, Calif. The Irish posted rounds of 307 and 301 and are squarely in the middle of the 16-team field, among a group of seven squads in places 4-10 that are separated by only 11 strokes. TCU leads the tournament at 583 (+7), while two prominent Top 20 teams in the latest Golfweek rankings are trailing Notre Dame -- fourth-ranked Washington is five shots behind the Irish in 11th place, while No. 17 Michigan State is nine strokes behind Notre Dame in a 12th-place tie.
Sophomore Connor Alan-Lee (Solana Beach, Calif./La Jolla Country Day School) turned in arguably his best day as a collegian, moving into a tie for sixth place at two-over par 146 (73-73). Alan-Lee trails overnight leader Nate Pistacchio of UC Davis by seven strokes entering Tuesday's final round, as the second-year Irish golfer tries for his second career Top 10 finish (and first as a member of the starting lineup).
Junior Doug Fortner (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) is tied for 47th place at 11-over par 155 (77-78) following a wild series of events during Monday's 36 holes. In the morning round, Fortner eagled the par-5, 526-yard second hole (his seventh of the day), but a pair of double bogeys later in the round blunted his momentum. The afternoon proved to be equally unkind to Fortner, who opened with birdies on his first and eighth holes (and a bogey on his seventh), before the round unraveled on his 12th-14th holes with a quintuple-bogey 8 on No. 12, followed by single bogeys on the next two holes.
Fellow junior Carl Santos-Ocampo (Naples, Fla./Community School of Naples) owns a share of 65th place at 14-over par 158 (79-79), despite reeling off eight consecutive pars to open his second round. Meanwhile, sophomore Dustin Zhang (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll) may hold the tournament lead for the most dramatic momentum swing, tying for 73rd place at 16-over par 180 (89-71) after shaving a staggering 18 shots off his score in the afternoon session. Zhang's remarkable second-round renaissance included five birdies, three coming on the final six holes of the day, as he matched his season-low round.
Freshman Tom Usher (Bradford, England/Guiseley School) also is in a 73rd-place tie with Zhang at 16-over par 180 (78-82) in his first event as a member of the Notre Dame travel squad. Usher's second round actually was quite promising with 11 pars (seven on the front side), but his scorecard bowed under the weight of three double bogeys sprinkled throughout the round.
Notre Dame returns to La Quinta on Tuesday for the final round of The Prestige at PGA WEST, which gets underway at 7:30 a.m. (PT) with a shotgun start. Live in-progress scoring is available on the Golfstat web site (www.golfstat.com), while complete results will be posted on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com) and the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000) at the conclusion of the day's action.
The Prestige at PGA WEST
36-HOLE TEAM RESULTS: 1. TCU 583 (294-289); 2. UC Davis 586 (306-280); 3. Stanford 589 (297-292); 4. (tie) Pepperdine 598 (300-298) and Central Florida 598 (303-295); 6. Michigan 602 (310-292); 7. California 605 (312-293); 8. Northwestern 606 (308-298); 9. NOTRE DAME 608 (307-301); 10. Colorado 609 (306-303); 11. Washington 613 (310-303); 12. (tie) Michigan State 617 (327-290) and Florida Southern 617 (302-315); 14. Kentucky 619 (309-310); 15. Pacific 622 (317-305); 16. Rice 624 (322-302).
TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME GOLFERS (of 84): 1. Nate Pistacchio (UCD) 139 (68-71); 2. Johan de Beer (TCU) 142 (72-70); 3. David Johnson (UCF) 143 (76-67); 4. (tie) Andrew Putnam (Pepp) 145 (68-77) and Joseph Bramlett (Stan) 145 (72-73); 6. (tie) Connor Alan-Lee (ND) 146 (73-73); 47. (tie) Doug Fortner (ND) 155 (77-78); 65. (tie) Carl Santos-Ocampo (ND) 158 (79-79); 73. (tie) Dustin Zhang (ND) 180 (89-71) and Tom Usher 180 (78-82).