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ND Women’s Golf: Maunu recovers from illness, finishes tourney

Chris Hine | Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Notre Dame sophomore Lisa Maunu couldn’t even walk to the plane.

Maunu, who contracted a throat infection and spent the night of Oct. 12 at Health Services, still managed to play the entire Taylormade Aztec Fall Classic at San Diego State University Oct. 16-17 and finished 31st, helping her teammates to a fifth-place finish.

“They did an athletic blitz on me, hooking me up to an IV and pumping me with drugs,” Maunu said. “My teammates had to literally carry me to the plane on Friday because I was so sick.”

Maunu had doubts as to whether she could complete all 36 holes.

“I didn’t know if I could walk through the tournament, but I took it one shot at a time and made it through,” she said. “I thought I played well. First day, I had a nine on a par-five and that killed me, but the second day I had to stay away from getting a nine, and I did that and I had more birdies.”

Despite Maunu’s illness, the Irish expected to finish well in San Diego, where they were one of the highest ranked teams going in.

“We were the third highest ranked team of the field coming in, so finishing fifth was a little disappointing,” senior Noriko Nakazaki said.

The Irish faltered on day one, Oct. 16, firing a 22-over par 311 to place eleventh after 18 holes. Three Irish golfers posted scores above 80.

Notre Dame coach Susan Holt met with the squad after day one to light a fire under her team to finish off their rounds as strong as they started them.

“I put a sense of urgency into their heads. They got very sloppy in the middle of the first round,” she said. “They really needed to start picking it up or else they would have dug themselves into a huge hole.”

Notre Dame responded, firing a season-best 299 to climb into a tie for fifth place overall last Tuesday. In that second round, the team’s highest score was a 76. The Irish finished 22 strokes behind tournament winner Denver.

“I was very pleased with what happened on day two,” Holt said. “We were a little disappointed with fifth, but it could’ve been a lot worse.”

Nakazaki (71-74, +1) led the way for the Irish. Notre Dame’s overall stroke average leader had struggled in her last few tournaments before the Aztec Fall Classic, but rebounded last week to finish tied for fifth overall – her best of the fall season.

“I played OK,” she said. “The first day went well. I’ve been working on putting and I hit six birdies on day one. The second day it got away a little bit, but finishing fifth was very nice.”

Freshman Annie Brophy (78-77, +11) tied for 35th overall while junior Jane Lee (80-76, +12) tied for 41st. Kristen Wetzel rounded out the team scoring for the Irish by finishing tied for 49th with a 13-over par performance. Senior Stacy Brown played as an individual entrant whose scores did not count to the overall team performance.

Denver (278-303) took the tournament title while BYU (296-293) placed second. Denver’s Stephanie Sherlock (69-72, -3) and Emily Hoepner (66-75, -3) tied for first overall, with Sherlock winning a playoff to take the title. Hoepner’s 66 in the first round was the low round for the tournament.

Next on the Irish schedule is the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Intercollegiate Invitational on Oct. 30-31 in Kiawah Island, S. Car.