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ND Women’s Golf: Team looks for complete performance

Chris Hine | Friday, October 13, 2006

On the heels of two straight second place tournament finishes, Notre Dame will head to San Diego to try and pull out its first victory of the fall season Monday and Tuesday in the 36-hole Lady Aztec Invitational at San Diego State University.”We’ve had some solid individual efforts so far this season,” head coach Susan Holt said. “But we haven’t had all five golfers step up to give us solid round scores.”The Irish began the year with a 12th place finish at the Cougar Classic in Charleston South Carolina, then came in second at the Notre Dame Invitational Sept. 12 and 13 and the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational Oct. 2 and 3. In these tournaments, Notre Dame faced teams primarily from the Midwest. At the Aztec Invitational, however, the Irish will compete against 15 schools from the western region of the country.”I know BYU and Denver are good programs,” Holt said. “But I don’t pay a lot of attention to the rankings this time of year. We just need to get better.”Senior co-captain Noriko Nakazaki said she is one of the golfers that needs to improve. She struggled in the Marilynn Smith Invitational, failing to break 80 in her first two rounds, but rallied to shoot the low round of the tournament for the Irish on day two with a two-over par 74.”I definitely struggled, but sometimes that can be good and it shows what I need to do,” she said. “I’ve been working a lot on my short game and self-confidence. It’s getting better, but it’s not there, so I’m hoping San Diego State is the tournament I break through.”Sophomore Lisa Maunu, coming off her first team-leading performance in the Marilynn Smith Invitational tying for sixth overall, looks forward to escaping the South Bend snow flurries in favor of California sunshine.”Golfing in the snow is cool. Literally, cool, but I’m excited. I’ve never been to California,” she said. “I’ve been working on my swing and letting my divots go to the right, which means my swing isn’t functioning properly. I’m not hitting the ball consistently.”Junior Jane Lee, who tied for 19th with Nakazaki in the Smith Invitational, will make the trip along with freshmen Annie Brophy and Kristen Wetzel, and senior Stacy Brown.Holt said the team is still adjusting since she took over the program in September.”We’re still trying to get to know each other. We’ve asked a lot of each other in trying to get a read on our states of mind,” she said. “They tend to be self-critical already so I just encourage them to go out and play their game and we work on what needs to be worked on afterward.”