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Midwest powerhouses await team in Florida

Joe Meixell | Monday, February 20, 2006

Notre Dame begins its fall season today at the Central District Classic in Parrish, Fla. The tournament is hosted by Michigan State and will be played today and tomorrow at the River Wilderness Golf Club.The Irish are looking to improve on last year’s performance, which saw them finish 13th out of 15 teams. This year, the team traveled to Florida a few days early to sharpen its game before its spring debut by practicing on the par 72, 6,099-yard course.This year, the sixth-seeded Irish will face off against a field of 14 other teams, most of which are from the Midwest region – Baylor, Illinois State, Kansas, Kansas State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, SMU and Texas Tech.”All except for three teams are within 10 spots of us in the rankings. We’re thirty-fifth overall, and most of the other teams are within 25 to 45.”The Irish will go with a lineup of Noriko Nakazaki, Lisa Maunu, Katie Brophy, Lauren Gebauer and Suzie Hayes.”Nakazaki consistently plays really well and finishes at the top of every tournament that she enters,” Brophy said. “I usually play pretty well. Everyone’s games are coming on right now. Everyone has been working really hard to play well, in this tournament and the rest.”The Irish also have clear cut goals for the tournament.”[We hope to] break 300 for all three rounds, break 295 for one round and remain patient and persistent,” Brophy said.After the Classic, the squad has a few weeks off until it plays in the ‘Mo’ Morial in Bryan, Texas March 10-12.The Irish are looking for their first tournaments to set a tone for the rest of their season.”We hope to perform well in all of our tournaments, break the top 25 nationally and finish in the top eight at regionals to make it to nationals,” Brophy said.