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Women top tournament, men hope to excel Women top tournament, men hope to excel Women top tournament, men hope to excel Women top tournament, men hope to excel Women top tournament, men hope to excel Women top tournament, men hope to excel

Eric Retter | Monday, September 27, 2004

After this weekend, the world of women’s golf should have a shakeup at the top.

The Irish team prevailed and finished first at the Jeannine McHaney Invitational/Central Regional preview, ahead of an extremely talented field that included top ranked Missouri. All in all, the Irish defeated four top 20 teams, also beating Arkansas, Iowa State, and Oklahoma.

The Irish, who were ranked 30th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index before this weekend, played well the entire 36 holes on their way to the championship. The event, which ran from Friday through Sunday, was originally supposed to be 54-holes, but heavy rain on Saturday forced tournament officials to cancel play for the day and cut the tournament down to 36 holes.

After walking off the course Friday in third place following a strong 296 team score, the Irish used Saturday’s layoff to rest up and prepare to repeat their successful round and make a run at the title Sunday. They accomplished both things Sunday, storming through the competition and shooting a combined 297 to finish at 593 and move from one behind leader Missouri to four strokes in front of second-place Oklahoma, who finished with a 597.

Remarkably, every Irish golfer finished with scores below 80 in both rounds, a remarkable feat, especially considering the weather. Leading the charge for the Irish was junior co-captain Katie Brophy, who not only led the team but also won the tournament by two strokes over Amparo Gala of Oklahoma. Brophy followed her impressive round of 69 Friday, which left her in second place, with an even par 72, a score good enough to secure a victory for her.

With her third individual title, Brophy set the career Notre Dame record for individual titles, a record that she has plenty of time to improve on.

Right behind Brophy in the standings was sophomore Noriko Nakazaki, who followed her three-over-par 75 on Friday with a two-over par 74 on Sunday to finish in a tie for tenth place with a 149. Sophomore Stacy Brown finished one stroke behind, shooting 150 and finishing tied for 14th place. Rounding out the Irish lineup were freshman Jane Lee, who shot a 153, and junior Lauren Gebauer, who finished the weekend with a 155, to finish tied for 26th and 47th, respectively.