Senior co-captain Adam Gifford looked sharp in his BIG EAST Championship debut, carding a career-low 69 (-3) during Sunday's opening round in Simpsonville, Ky.

Irish In Fourth Place Through One Round At BIG EAST Championship

April 22, 2007

BIG EAST Championship First-Round Scores in PDF Format
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SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. — Senior co-captain Adam Gifford (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) tied his career-low round with a three-under par 69, helping Notre Dame move into fourth place after Sunday’s first round of the 2007 BIG EAST Conference Championship at the Cardinal Club in Simpsonville, Ky. (located outside Louisville). The three-time defending conference champion Irish carded a team total of three-over par 291, putting them eight strokes behind tournament leader Louisville, while St. John’s (289) and Marquette (290) join Notre Dame in a tightly-bunched pack behind the Cardinals.

Gifford, who is making his first career appearance at the BIG EAST Championship this week, matched his personal-best score for the third time in the past six weeks, while grabbing sole possession of third place in the 60-man field. He also shot 69 in the second round of the Triumph at Pauma Valley on March 12, then duplicated that mark in the final round of the Administaff Augusta State Invitational on April 1. Gifford is three strokes back of first-round individual leader Mike Van Sickle of Marquette, with Louisville’s Adam Rainaud a shot off the pace in second.

Sophomore Josh Sandman (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) is tied for 13th place after one round, firing a one-over par 73 on Sunday. Freshman Doug Fortner (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) is a shot behind Sandman in a tie for 19th place, while junior Greg Rodgers (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul’s School) is another stroke in arrears, currently sharing 22nd place. Surprisingly, Notre Dame’s most reliable player this season, senior co-captain Cole Isban (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian), had the team’s highest score of the day with a four-over par 76 that puts him in a 28th-place tie. Prior to Sunday, Isban had seen only one of his 31 rounds discarded from the team total, good for a 96.8 percent efficiency rate.

Notre Dame has drawn the early start time on Monday, going out at 8 a.m. (ET) in 10-minute intervals from the first tee in the second round of the BIG EAST Championship. Live in-progress scoring (updated every nine holes) is available on the Golfstat web site and full results will be posted right here on the official Notre Dame athletics web site ( at the conclusion of the Monday’s competition, as well as on the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000).

— ND —

BIG EAST Championship
April 22, 2007 • Simpsonville, Ky.
Cardinal Club (par 72/7,036 yards)

TEAM SCORES (18-hole totals): 1. Louisville 283; 2. St. John’s 289; 3. Marquette 290; 4. NOTRE DAME 291; 5. DePaul 293; 6. South Florida 296; 7. Georgetown 302; 8. Seton Hall 304; 9. Cincinnati 305; 10. Villanova 306; 11. Connecticut 311; 12. Rutgers 313.

TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME GOLFERS (of 60): 1. Mike Van Sickle (Marquette) 66; 2. Adam Rainaud (Louisville) 67; 3. Adam Gifford (Notre Dame) 69; 4. (tie) Greg Doherty (DePaul) and Keegan Bradley (St. John’s) 70; 13. (tie) Josh Sandman (Notre Dame) 73; 19. (tie) Doug Fortner (Notre Dame) 74; 22. (tie) Greg Rodgers (Notre Dame) 75; 28. (tie) Cole Isban (Notre Dame) 76.