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    Irish Lead The Field After Opening Day Of The Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic

    FIGHTING IRISH Chris Walker was one of only three players to record an eagle on day one of the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Chris Walker was one of only three players to record an eagle on day one of the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Oct. 5, 2009

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. -

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    The Notre Dame men's golf team shot an opening day 578 (+18) to lead the field after two rounds of play at the Warren Golf Course. Senior Josh Sandman (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) sits atop the individual leaderboard after jumping out to an opening-day 138 (-2).

    Sandman led the Irish during the morning session, recording an even-par 70 on the opening 18 holes. The round saw Sandman card three birdies. In the afternoon, he fired a two-under par 68 to claim the lead on the strength seven birdies. His ten birdies on the day led the field.

    Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill./Notre Dame Prep. (AZ)) carded a three-over 73 during the morning session, collecting birdies on the first and 12th holes of his opening round. In then turned in a second round 75 for a plus-eight 148 total. Both his rounds were counted towards Notre Dame's team score. He is tied for 22nd.

    Doug Fortner (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) matched Scodro's opening round tally, also carding a three-over par 73 on his opening 18-holes and having his round counted towards the team score. He was able to finish the front nine at even par, registering birdies on the fifth and seventh holes. Fortner then carded a six-over par 76 in round two, which was not counted towards Notre Dame's team score. Through two rounds, he is tied for 28th.

    Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) turned in the final Irish score to be counted in the first round, as he earned a four-over par 74. He notched one birdie in his first eighteen holes, collecting a three on the par-four eighth hole. Walked took two shots off his first round total to turn in a 72, which also counted towards the team's score in the second round. He tied for the lead in par-five scoring with a minus-three mark, achieved largely on the basis of his second round eagle at the par-five fifth. He was one of only three players to notch an eagle in the first two rounds of play. Through two rounds, he is tied for 11th.

    Connor Alan Lee (Solana Beach, Calif./La Jolla Country Day School) wrapped up Notre Dame's team rotation in the morning session, recording a ten-over par 80 on his opening round, including a birdie on the par five fifth hole. Alan-Lee then shaved seven strokes off his first round total to turn in a second round 73, which was counted towards the Notre Dame team score. At 13-over par (153), he is tied for 48th.

    With Notre Dame hosting this week's tournament, the team sent the remaining seven members of its roster out to compete individually. That group included seniors Olava Batista (Sao Paolo, Brazil/Chapel), Carl Santos-Ocampo (Naples, Fla./Community School of Naples) and Kyle Willis (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest); juniors Jeff Chen (Walnut, Calif./Los Altos) and Dustin Zhang (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll); sophomore Tom Usher (Bradford, England/Guiseley School) and freshman Paul McNamara III (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Chadwick School).

    In the morning round, Chen and Santos-Ocampo paced the individual Irish participants by carding matching four-over par 74's in their opening rounds. Chen was able to secure birdies on holes one and five, while Santos-Ocampo carded his lone birdie on hole 17. Batista finished next with a five-over par 75, including two birdies on the round. Willis rounded out his first 18 at six-over par (76), which saw back-to-back birdies on holes 16 and 17. Usher (+7, 77), McNamara (+10, 80) and Zhang (+11, 81) rounded out the Irish in the opening 18 holes.

    In the afternoon, Chen and Willis paced the Irish individuals with three-over par 73's. Zhang improved by seven strokes over his morning round to turn in a second round 74, while Santos-Ocampo and Batista turned in second round 75's. McNamara, making his Irish debut, shot a second round 79.

    The Irish will look to hold off the second place Hawkeyes of Iowa (+30/590), third place Ohio State (+31/591) and the rest of the field when the action continues at the Warren tomorrow, October 6. Tee times begin (on holes one and nine) at 8:15, with Notre Dame scheduled to begin teeing off at 9:45 a.m. Live scoring will be available through www.golfstat.com.

    -- ND --
     

     

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