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Irish fire record score in Big East first round

Lorenzo Reyes | Monday, April 23, 2007

Notre Dame shot a Big East championship record round of four-over-par 292 Sunday to give the Irish a place atop the standings for the first of three rounds in the seven-team tournament at the Oxmoor Country Club in Louisville, Ky.

Louisville is in second place, six strokes behind the Irish, while South Florida’s performance has the Bulls 12 shots back in third place.

Notre Dame freshmen Annie Brophy and Julie Kim paced the Irish, as both golfers shot season-best rounds of even-par 72.

Kim led the team with 14 pars on the day, including matching the scorecard on her first 13 holes. She also finished with two birdies. Brophy had two birdies and 11 pars, but also carded the team’s only eagle on the par-5 fifth hole. The pair of freshmen are in a three-way tie for second place.

Notre Dame senior Noriko Nakazaki shot a one-over-par 73, putting her in a tie for fifth for the tournament. The senior co-captain carded a team-high four birdies on the day.

Irish freshman Kristin Wetzel shot a three-over-par 75 on the day, placing her in a tie for ninth. Rounding out the list was sophomore Lisa Maunu, who earned a five-over-par 77, good enough for a tie for 11th.

First-year Irish coach Susan Holt, who previously coached at South Florida before joining the Irish, said there’s still room for improvement.

“We played well today,” she said. “We had a couple bogies that were unnecessary so we could have been even better, but I am really happy with how we played. We still have two days to go, so we need to refocus and try to widen our lead.”

Holt mentioned she talked to her team about the mental focus it lacked at times this season, and they were able to overcome that roadblock on Sunday.

“We had a really good team meeting last night and I just told them to focus on the little things that they’ve been working on all year,” Holt said. “They have been focused, but just not for an entire 18 holes. They start out well and then kind of fall back and that’s a mental thing. They just have to be patient and accept what happens and deal with it. I was very pleased with how they did that today.”

The second round begins today at 8 a.m., and the final round will be held Tuesday.