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Irish head to championships

Lorenzo Reyes | Friday, April 20, 2007

Notre Dame will travel to Louisville Sunday for the Big East championships at the Oxmoor Country Club. The three-day tournament will end Tuesday.The Irish enter a field of seven, joining Georgetown, Rutgers, USF, Cincinnati, St. John’s and Louisville.The course is a par-72, 6,067-yard course that will bring out the best from each Big East team vying for the top spot. Coach Susan Holt said the team hadn’t done anything different to prepare for the tournament. “We have been going about everything as business as usual, practicing hard every day,” she saidShe made no distinction as to where the team’s focus has been, “Our main goal is to do our best and win it all,” she said.Starting the championships for the Irish is senior co-captain – and the most consistent Irish golfer this season – Noriko Nakazaki, who is coming off her season-best second-place finish at the Indiana Invitational. Nakazaki has led the team in shooting in all but one event this season.Taking the second spot is freshman Annie Brophy, who has been a solid contributor throughout the season. The freshman has become a solid golfer from the second position, earning the Irish valuable points to aid the team’s overall standing.Teeing off third spot of the lineup will be fellow freshman Kristin Wetzel, whose best performance came at the end of the UNLV Invitational last March, shooting an even-par 72. Following her will be classmate Julie Kim. Both Wetzel and Kim have proven to be a solid core of young talent at the middle of the lineup for Notre Dame.The fifth and final position will go to sophomore Lisa Maunu, who has rounded up the lineup with solid performances, most notably her even-par 72 at the UNLV Invitational.Maunu said Notre Dame is optimistic heading into the conference championship.”We are excited to play well, everyone has been practicing hard and I think we have been waiting all year to break through and this is going to be the tournament,” she said.The Irish have learned from past failures and improved their overall play, Maunu said. “We all can hit the ball, putt the ball, but it is the breakdown of our mental game,” she said. “We however, learned our mistakes last tournament [Indiana Invitational] and will not let that happen again.”One thing that Holt has stressed to her team in practice is confidence. “She knows we can do it and we just all have to come together and play our best golf,” Maunu said.

Notre Dame will travel to Louisville Sunday for the Big East Championships at the Oxmoor Country Club. The tournament will take three days, ending with the final round on Tuesday.The Irish enter a field of seven, joining Georgetown, Rutgers, USF, Cincinnati, St. John’s and Louisville.The course is a par 72, 6,067-yard course that will bring out the best from each Big East team vying for the top spot. Coach Susan Holt spoke about the team’s preparations for the tournament. “We have been going about everything as business as usual, practicing hard every day,” she saidShe made no distinction as to where the team’s focus has been, “Our main goal is to do our best and win it all,” she said.Starting the championships for the Irish is senior co-captain – and the most consistent Irish golfer this season – Noriko Nakazaki, who is coming off her season best second place finish at the Indiana Invitational. Nakazaki has led the team in shooting in all but one event this season.Taking the second spot is freshman Annie Brophy, who has been a solid contributor throughout the season. The freshman has become a solid golfer from the second position, helping the Irish earn valuable points to aid the team’s overall standing.Teeing off third spot of the lineup will be fellow freshman Kristin Wetzel whose best performance came at the end of the UNLV Invitational last March, shooting an even-par 72. Following her will be her classmate Julie Kim. Both Wetzel and Kim have proven to be a solid core of young talent at the middle of the lineup for Notre Dame.The fifth and final position will go to sophomore Lisa Maunu who has rounded up the lineup with solid performances, most notably her even par 72 at the UNLV Invitational. Maunu spoke about the team’s optimism heading into the conference championship.”We are excited to play well, everyone has been practicing hard and I think we have been waiting all year to break through and this is going to be the tournament,” she said.Also, Maunu spoke about learning from previous mistakes to improve their overall play. “We all can hit the ball, putt the ball, but it is the breakdown of our mental game,” she said. “We however, learned our mistakes last tournament [Indiana Invitational] and will not let that happen again.”One thing that Coach Holt has been stressing to her team in practice is confidence. “She knows we can do it and we just all have to come together and play our best golf,” Maunu said.

lreyes@nd.edu