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Courtesy: Rod Commons

Walsh Shoots Under Par To Lead Zags At Fighting Irish Classic

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 10/08/2012
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Gonzaga University men's golf team is tied for 11th place after 36 holes of the seventh-annual Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic, but is in a good place and can move up the leaderboard with a strong performance in Tuesday's final 18 holes.

After the Bulldogs first round 302 Sunday, they posted a 293 Monday for a 36-hole total of 595 over the 7,023-yard, par 71 Warren Golf Course. The Bulldogs are only eight shots out of a tie for sixth and 11 shots out of a tie for fifth.

"We talk a lot about, and take pride in, finishing our rounds well," stated head coach Robert Gray. "Today we didn't do that, playing the last four holes at +4 and finishing the round at +9 for the team. It's tough to play hard for 14 holes and then double your total team score on the final four holes. Even with our finish, we did pick up shots on half our field today. That puts us in a better position for a solid finish this week. But we need to clean up the little things that are keeping us from taking that next step forward."

Michigan State University is currently in the lead at 569, good for an eight-stroke advantage over the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Freshman Sean Walsh had the top score for the Bulldogs Monday, shooting a 1-under par 70. He now has a two-day score of 146 to tie for 18th. Walsh was one of only seven players in the field to shoot under par Monday.

"Yesterday we lacked rounds under par," explained Gray. "Today, Sean stepped up and posted a 1-under 70 for us. He hit a lot of great shots into the greens but had a lot of putts slip by the edge of the cup."

Junior Peter Gullickson continued his sold play with a second-straight 74 for a 36-hole 148.

"Peter continues to improve and is becoming more consistent but he's nowhere near where he wants to be," Gray said. "He's definitely heading in the right direction."

Sophomore James Fahy has shot a 150 after his second-straight round of 75, while senior Travis Johnsen rebounded from an uncharacteristic 77 Sunday to shoot a 74 Monday for a 36-hole 151.

"Travis played really well for 16 holes but a double and triple bogey kept him from posting one of the best scores of the tournament thus far," explained Gray of his lone senior. "He made a triple on his second hole of the day and played even on the final 16 holes, including the double bogey. I'm very pleased with how he's handling the adversity that's come his way on the course this season."

Rounding out the group was sophomore Brendan Connolly who has a two-day score of 154 after posting back-to-back 77's.

Thomas Bass of UNC-Wilmington holds the individual lead at 3-under par 139 for a 2-shot lead over a duo of golfers.

The final round of the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic is set for Tuesday, starting at 5:30 a.m. PST.

"Watching the guys play out here, I feel like we're really close to putting together a really good round," stated Gray. "Tomorrow would be a great day to do so."

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