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ND Women’s Golf: Conway prepared to tee off senior season

Megan Finneran | Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One of senior Katie Conway’s proudest moments isn’t one listed on her resume. Naturally, it came on the golf course. Not in a college competition, however, but on her home course when she finally beat her dad.

“To this day, I’ve only beat him a handful of times, but the first time I did is still one of his proudest moments,” Conway said.

Conway began playing golf at the age of 11, when her dad, who she deems “a golf pro,” habitually brought her into work with him where they would spend the day on the course, playing and learning with every stroke.

As she grew in her skills and academics through middle and high school, Conway started the long college search, waiting to feel like she was in the right place. Visiting Notre Dame on a football weekend four years ago, Conway knew she had found that place.

“The passion of the alumni and the spirit embodying the entire campus was exactly what I was looking for, and I knew I wanted to be part of the tradition,” Conway said.

Although Conway was drawn in by the spirit, campus and tradition familiar to many who come to Notre Dame, she has made her time on campus her own story. Growing from an individual golfer in high school, Conway has developed her game, goals and herself to become a part of a special team and University.

“Before school, I was so focused on golf that I didn’t always see the bigger picture,” Conway said. “For my senior season, I want to leave the program poised for continued future success.”

Her time on campus has also opened doors and experiences Conway had never imagined as she branched out from solely being the golfer she was before.

An internship with Ernst & Young’s Chicago office in the Business Advisory Program over the past summer has expanded her vision and personal goals beyond the golf course and past graduation, she said.

“It was an eye-opening experience as it was my first time out of the golf world for a summer and provided me with a glimpse of the real world,” Conway said.

The internship not only gave Conway a glimpse of the business lifestyle but it also made her return to campus and the golf course sweeter than ever before. Conway and the Irish will begin their fall season Sept. 25-26 in East Lansing, Mich., to compete in Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational. It will be Conway’s third consecutive trip to the tournament where the Irish have finished in the top 10 each year.

Although her senior season has yet to begin, Conway already has her spring goals set. Like many athletes, she hopes to end her Irish career in the NCAA finals. If she makes it there, it would mark the first time Notre Dame has swung so far in program history.

“I think are chances are pretty good,” Conway said confidently.

If she can beat her “golf pro” dad, the other teams better watch out.