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Women’s Golf: Irish set to travel to Augusta

Chris Khorey | Monday, November 7, 2005

After one of its best three-round scores of the year only netted a 10th-place finish in the Las Vegas Collegiate Shootout, the Notre Dame women’s golf team will have a softer field to contend with at the Lady Jaguar Invitational in Augusta, Ga. this week.

“This field’s a little weak,” Irish head coach Debby King said. “We’re the highest-ranked team here. The next highest- ranked is Augusta State.”

The Irish are ranked No. 35 in golfstat.com’s rankings, while the Jaguars are ranked No. 58. The only other teams in the top 100 are No. 84 Western Carolina and No. 85 Richmond.

Arkansas State, Birmingham Southern, East Tennessee State, Elon, Florida International, Jacksonville State, James Madison and Wyoming fill out the rest of the field.

Despite the weaker field, King said the Irish are not overlooking the Lady Jaguar, which will be their last event until February.

“[Augusta State is] playing on their home course, which means we have to keep an eye on them,” King said. “We want to sandwich the fall season. We won at the beginning and we want to win at the end.”

The Irish won the Notre Dame Invitational in September to begin their season.

The Lady Jaguar will only be a 36-hole tournament, played over Monday and Tuesday. King said she’s happy the team will have to play less golf than usual.

“It’s better than 36 holes in one day, this way we don’t have to walk 36 holes,” King said.

King will send the lineup out onto the course as she did last week in Las Vegas. Sophomore Jane Lee, junior Noriko Nakasaki, freshman Lisa Maunu, senior Katie Brophy and senior Lauren Gebauer Lee recorded a career-best in Nevada, carding a two-under-par 70 in the third round. She led the team with a three round score of 217.

Gebauer also had a strong showing last week, carding a 72 to lead the team in the second round.

Nakazaki, who finished second on the team in Las Vegas with a three-round score of 224, leads the Irish with a 74.23 stroke average this season.

Brophy, a team captain this year, finished third on the team last week with a 226.

Maunu, who has burst onto the scene this year as a freshman, finished fifth on the team with a 245 last week, but has solidified her place in the top five enough to earn a spot in the lineup this week.

The Lady Jaguar is the last tournament for the Irish before their winter break, which will last until the Central District Classic in Parish, Fla. Feb. 19-20. The Irish will use the break to do things in practice they don’t normally have time for.

“We stay outside until around Thanksgiving,” King said. “We do weightlifting and cardio a couple times a week. We also have some sports psychologists work with us over the winter.”