Men’s Golf: Warren Course hosts 2nd Gridiron Classic
Michael Bryan | Friday, September 28, 2007
After a two-week break, the Irish will be back in tournament competition Sunday at the second Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic.Notre Dame will play host to a 12-team field for the tournament, played Sunday through Tuesday at Warren Golf Course. Among the top teams competing will be No. 16 Lamar, Michigan State, Georgetown, Arkansas and Virginia.Notre Dame finished second in the inaugural Gridiron Classic last year, 29 shots behind Lamar, which never trailed in the event. The Irish held off Baylor, Florida State, and Vanderbilt in the final round in cold and windy conditions to take second in their first home tournament since 2004. Graduated senior Cole Isban led the Irish, but several returning Notre Dame players had success in the inaugural event. Junior Josh Sandman placed eleventh with a 12-over-par 222. He was tied by sophomore Carlos Santos-Ocampo, who aced the fourth hole with an 8-iron.After a practice round Saturday, the tournament will consist of three rounds played on the par-70, 7,020-yard course designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore and recently named one of the top-15 college courses in the nation by Golf Digest.Notre Dame kicked off its season with two tournaments Sept. 15-16. Despite a tough final round, the Irish placed fourth of 12 teams at the Gopher Invitational – finishing behind Lamar, Arkansas, and Wisconsin. Senior Greg Rodgers led the team individually with a seventh-place finish, one shot ahead of sophomore teammate Doug Fortner. Freshman Connor Alan-Lee had an impressive performance in his collegiate debut, finishing No. 26.Sandman, an all-Big East selection last season, got off to a rocky start, shooting 18-over to tie for 39th. Senior Eddie Peckels rounded out the Irish team in a tie for No. 37.While half the Irish team teed off in Minnesota, the rest was competing at the Rutgers Invitational in New Jersey. The Irish team of freshmen and sophomores turned in a strong performance, finishing second out of 18 teams with a team score of 18-over. With eight underclassmen on the team this year, the Irish will depend on significant contributions from the younger classes. Freshmen Dustin Zhang and Jeff Chen led the squad at Rutgers, tying for eighth individually at six-over.