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Rogers looks to make mark this weekend

Joe Meixell | Friday, April 2, 2004

Practice makes perfect. Or at least gets you into the starting lineup, as in the case of Rebecca Rogers, the Irish senior co-captain. Rogers is taking part in her first tournament since the Notre Dame Invitational held Sept. 27-28, and is in the scoring lineup for the first time since last season. “I worked on a lot of stuff in the off-season. I definitely wanted to play competitively,” Rogers said.Her coach is glad to see the hard work pay off.”We’re all really happy for her,” third-year head coach Debby King said. “She’s really worked hard.”The Irish are set to play in the Indiana Invitational in Bloomington this weekend. The field is made up of 15 teams, including some familiar nemeses. At the Baylor Shootout two weeks ago, Missouri finished one spot behind this week’s host Indiana, who won the tournament. “There’s definitely pressure to play well,” King said. “It’s one of the strongest fields yet.”The tournament starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at the par-74 Indiana University Golf course. It is a 54-hole event, with each team playing two rounds Saturday and the final round beginning Sunday morning. Scoring will be in the ‘six-count-four’ format, with each team represented by six golfers and the four lowest scores counting towards the team total.In hopes of rediscovering a way to play the way they did in the fall, which was the best semester in the history of Notre Dame women’s golf, the team has begun a slightly modified practice schedule. “We’ve really been working on [having] more productive practice rounds, and really just paying more attention to the golf course,” King said.Meanwhile, Rogers secured her bus ticket to Bloomington on Tuesday, when the team concluded its intra-squad qualifying rounds. “More than anything, I think the difference was mental,” Rogers said. “A lot of it has to do with confidence.”Joining Rogers this weekend will be freshmen Noriko Nakazaki and Stacey Brown, sophomores Katie Brophy and Sarah Bassett and junior Karen Lotta. Nakazaki has paced the team this year, leading the team in scoring average. Brophy, Bassett and Lotta have each competed in both of the team’s two previous outings, and Brown returns to the lineup after missing the Baylor Shootout.As her Notre Dame golf career enters the home stretch, the hard-working Rogers has been able to keep things in perspective. “It’s the spring of my senior year,” Rogers said. “I want to be able to enjoy myself.”She remains optimistic about the team she co-captains, both for this weekend and the season.”I feel good,” Rogers said. “We’ve been able to play the course, we’ve gotten good weather, we’re motivated, and there’s still a lot of golf to play.”