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ND WOMEN’S GOLF: Irish have disappointing loss at Lady Jaguar Invitational

Chris Khorey | Wednesday, November 9, 2005

After Notre Dame shot three straight rounds under 300 at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown last week, Irish coach Debby King was hopeful for a win against a much softer field in the Lady Jaguar Invitational at the Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia Monday and Tuesday.

“We want to sandwich the fall season,” King said Sunday prior to the tournament. “We won at the beginning [in the Notre Dame Invitational], and we want to win at the end.”

Unfortunately for King and the Irish, they could not accomplish their goal. Notre Dame posted two subpar rounds of 310 and 307 to finish second in the Lady Jaguar, 16 strokes behind tournament host Augusta State.

King attributed the drop in scores to inconsistent putting on Forest Hills’ difficult greens.

“The greens were tough,” King said. “There were a lot of mounds in them and a lot of breaks.”

Freshman Lisa Maunu was one of the few bright spots for the Irish, posting a 73 on the second day for the lowest round of her career.

“That’s pretty awesome. We’re very happy with her,” King said. “She had a 75 in the home tournament [in September], but this is her best score all semester.”

Junior Noriko Nakasaki continued to lead the Irish with her consistent play. She shot a 147 (74-73) for the two-day tournament and finished second overall, only one stroke behind Augusta State’s Lauren Smith.

Senior Katie Brophy, sophomore Jane Lee and senior Lauren Gebauer rounded out the lineup for the Irish. Brophy shot a 157 (76-81), Lee shot a 159 (78-81) and Gebauer shot a 163 (80-83).

Notre Dame was delayed in coming back to South Bend from Las Vegas until Thursday, which means the team was only on campus for one day before flying to Georgia on Saturday.

King said while the hectic week may have affected some individuals, she didn’t think it had an adverse effect on the team as a whole.

“It’s hard to say,” she said. “Some people like it hectic. Others like it slow. Regardless, we don’t like to make excuses.”

The tournament was Notre Dame’s last of the fall season. The Irish will not compete again until Feb. 19 in the Central District Classic in Parish, Fla.

“We’re ready for the break,” King said. “It’s been a long semester with a lot of travel. We’re ready to start strength and conditioning and work on the mental part of the game.”

The team will also work with sports psychologist Mick Franco during their winter break.

Franco has worked with several Irish squads, including both the men’s and women’s soccer teams.

“[Franco will] work on taking one shot at a time, not being in the past, not being in the future, only thinking in the present, gaining confidence, how to focus,” King said.

East Tennessee State finished third in the tournament, followed by Arkansas State, Western Carolina, Florida International, Jacksonville State and Birmingham Southern in No. 4-No. 8, respectively.

Florida State sent a team of less experienced golfers to the tournament. The young Seminoles finished ninth.

Elon, Richmond, James Madison and Wyoming rounded out the field of 13.