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Women’s Golf: Season swings to a start

Joe Meixell | Monday, September 11, 2006

Notre Dame commences its season today as it tees-off in the Cougar Classic at the par-72 Yeaman’s Hall Golf Club in Hanahan, S.C. The Irish will compete against 17 teams in the two-day tournament.

“We’re ranked in the middle of the pack coming into this event,” assistant coach Kyle Veltri said. “This tournament will be a good judge of where we are talent-wise compared to the rest of the country.”

The Irish will participate in the event without their injured captain, junior Alejandra-Diaz Calderon, who stayed behind while the rest of the team made the trip to South Carolina.

“I hurt my lower back and had an MRI earlier this week to see what’s wrong,” she said. “The injury is in a scary place and no one is sure what it is yet.”

Despite Diaz-Calderon’s injury, the Irish still have experience on the links in senior Noriko Nakazaki, who is the program’s all-time leader in stroke average with 76.05, sophomore Lisa Maunu, who finished eighth as a freshman in last year’s Notre Dame Invitational, and senior Stacy Brown, who has a career average of 78.64.

“These girls are used to this type of competition,” Veltri said. “They’re ready to go and see how all their work over the summer will pay off.”

Freshmen Annie Brophy and Kristin Wetzel will compete in their first tournament this week. Both were top-100 recruits coming out of high school according to National Junior Golf Scoreboard.

“Once Annie and Kristin hit the first tee shot their nerves will go away,” Veltri said. “They’ve hit the ball well and have read the greens well in practice this week.”

The last time the Irish participated in the Cougar Classic was 2003, the tournament’s inaugural year, when they took first place.

“The kids are just ready and anxious to play,” Veltri said. “It is a beautiful golf course and they are managing it very well. They’ve hit different clubs off the tee boxes and they’ve taken time to analyze each hole.”

Golfstatlive.com will provide hole-by-hole scoring of the event.

The Irish finished tied for third last year in the Big East Conference and missed making the NCAA Tournament.


u Part of the proceeds from the tournament will go toward breast cancer research.