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Irish hit all-time low score

Eric Retter | Monday, September 6, 2004

If there were ever a time to focus on the silver lining, now would be it.The Notre Dame women’s golf team failed in their bid to win the Notre Dame Women’s Golf Invitational for the third consecutive year, finishing third in their season opening event. Despite coming up short in the standings, the Irish set a team record by shooting the lowest combined score ever by a Notre Dame women’s team at Warren Golf course – 24 strokes below the old record.Coach Debby King attributes the loss to a much stronger field than in previous tournaments. Iowa State led the pack, breaking invitational records for both lowest round and lowest overall score. The Cyclones shot a 294 for Saturday’s second round and a 902 over 54 holes.”The field was a lot tougher, but Iowa State really surprised us,” King said.Louise Kenney led the Cyclones, shooting 216 to earn the individual as well as the team championship. Kenney finished the weekend at even par and broke the previous individual tournament record by 9 strokes.Notre Dame shot a combined 914, finishing 12 spots behind Iowa State and 7 back from the second-place Washington State Cougars. In spite of the disappointment of not winning, King is very pleased with her team’s performance and chooses to focus on the positive points.”I looked in the record books, and we were 24 strokes lower than any other home tournament,” King said. “That’s quite an accomplishment.”Though the whole team played well, senior Karen Lotta had a day to remember on Sunday. In the tournament’s final round, Lotta broke the Warren Golf Course record by shooting a 4-under par 68 to finish tied for second place with a three round total of 221. Unfortunately for the Irish, Lotta was entered as an individual, meaning her scores could not count towards the team final. Since the team is talented and deep, King predicts difficulty in picking the tournament teams for each event.”It’s going to be tough getting the top 5 or 10 players this year” she said. “This week has already proved it, and our individuals have been as good as the tournament team.”Leading the tournament team was sophomore Noriko Nakazaki, who placed seventh with an overall score of 227. Juniors Katie Brophy and Lauren Gebauer each shot a 230 to finish in a 5-way tie for 12th that included sophomore Stacy Brown, who was also entered as an individual. Freshman Jane Lee shot a 231 and finished in 17th, and senior Suzie Hayes scored a 234 to end up tied for 22nd. As the season gets underway, King wants to focus on consistency.”Anyone on our team can play well on any given day, but we need to be able to do it over three rounds,” she said.