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ND Women’s Golf: Maunu to lead team at NCAAs

Meaghan Veselik | Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nearing the end of her senior season, Lisa Maunu won the Big East individual title last week and led the No. 32 Irish to second place overall in the tournament, placing the team in a strong position as they head into NCAA Regionals May 7-9.

A former hockey player from Canada, Maunu is far from the typical college golfer.

A London, Ontario, native, Maunu has been making a name for herself on the Canadian junior golf and hockey scene for quite some time.

“My father got me into golf,” Maunu said. “He was a golf pro for many years before he became a teacher. Also, my older brother was a very good golfer at a younger age and he took me under his wing.”

Playing competitive hockey for 14 years, Maunu has been placing at golf championships since 2003. In 2005, she ranked seventh for junior girls in Ontario.

“I never really had a coach until I came to college, but my greatest help with my golf game, other than my dad, was my golf pro Dan Campbell,” Maunu said.  “He ran a lot of junior clinics for the kids at my course and really inspired me to continue with my golf game.”

In her high school career, Maunu earned three varsity letters while also competing in hockey, basketball, volleyball, soccer and badminton.

Starting her career at Notre Dame, Maunu played in all 10 events for the Irish, scoring in nine of them for the team. She registered a 79.83 scoring average over 29 rounds, and placed 27th at the Big East Championship.

“Notre Dame is a wonderful school to play for,” Maunu said. “When we go to tournaments, you see other teams out having fun after the rounds, while we are in the rooms studying.  This may sound horrible, but we are the true student-athletes.  A lot of other schools are not able to say that and I take pride in being a student-athlete from the University of Notre Dame.”

Her sophomore season, Maunu competed in every event again, ranking fourth for the team with a 78.04 scoring average. She tied for 10th at the conference championship, helping the Irish to a second place finish with her 14-over par total of 230.

Co-captain beginning in her junior season, Maunu earned Big East honors for the second straight season, and registered a career-best 75.34 stroke average, placing her second on the team and recording the third-best ever average in program history.

Earning the team’s “most improved’ award as she shaved 2.7 shots off her sophomore season average, and tied for fourth at the Big East Championship, helping Notre Dame win the conference title. Maunu helped to pace the Irish at the NCAA Central Regional, shooting a 225 (+9, 73-78-74) and tying for 30th.

The team’s solo senior has once again been making a statement on the course this spring, leading the team to four top-10 finishes.

Maunu finished off her final conference season with her best performance of the year, placing first on the team and overall with rounds of 74-71-70 for a final total of 215, one below par.

“This years Big East tournament was a very important one for my team,” she said.  “I enjoyed winning the individual title, but it does not satisfy me.  We went to the tournament to beat Louisville and came up a little short.  However, I think the team learned a valuable lesson and are now prepared for NCAA Regionals and hopefully finals,” she said.

Next up for Maunu is the NCAA tournament, where the Irish will play in the Central Regional at the Scarlet Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio, hosted by Ohio State.