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ND Women’s Golf: Senior leads 8th-place finish

Chris Hine | Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Notre Dame ended its fall season on a high note Tuesday, posting an 8-over par 296 – their best total of the season – to finish in a tie for eighth out of 19 teams at the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Intercollegiate Tournament in Kiawah Island, S.C.

The Irish finished 35 strokes behind tournament winner Campbell.

The team won’t compete again until the spring.

Notre Dame came to South Carolina with the fifth best ranking of the teams in the tournament according to Golfstat.com, but the Irish struggled in the first two rounds with scores of 308 and 310.

Tuesday marked only the second time this fall that the Irish shot under 300 for a round.

“They went out and did what they had to do today,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “We just need to be more consistent, and they will be during the spring.”

Senior Noriko Nakazaki clubbed the team’s best round of the season with a 2-under 70 Tuesday to finish 3-over for the tournament, putting her in a tie for sixth overall. Nakazaki holed 10 birdies in the tournament – fourth overall in that category.

“It was a nice feeling, shooting that last round – things went well [Tuesday],” Nakazaki said.

Sophomore Lisa Maunu also shot under par Tuesday with a 1-under 71, tying her career-best single round score. She finished 27th overall, marking the only time all fall that two Irish golfers shot under par in the same round.

“Overall I stressed course management with [Nakazaki and Maunu], which was sloppy on Monday,” Holt said. “But overall it was much better on day two and they avoided the big numbers.”

Junior Jane Lee fired three rounds under 80 to finish 54th overall, while freshmen Annie Brophy (82-77-78) and Kristin Wetzel (79-80-80) finished 67th and 73rd, respectively, out of the field of 99 golfers.

Holt said the freshmen went through a maturation process during their first semester on the team.

“Everytime they get an opportunity to play it helps,” she said. “They’re going to be a big part of the rest of the season. The spring schedule is going to be tough, and we need them to produce.”

Holt was named Irish head coach before the second tournament of the season, after former Irish coach Debby King left over the summer.

Holt took the Notre Dame job after a successful 13-year stint as head coach at South Florida. Holt was named Conference USA Coach of the Decade for 1995-2005.

“Everytime other coaches ask me if it was a good move, I always tell them I know it is,” she said.

During the winter, the Irish will have the opportunity to practice in the newly built Robert and Marilyn Rolfs Family All-Season Golf Facility, which features a driving range and a 5,000 square-foot short game area complete with a putting green and practice bunker.

“We’ll be able to practice much more thanks to the new facility,” Nakazaki said. “And that will make us a lot better for the spring.”