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Women’s Golf: Irish head to South Carolina for Watts/Palmetto event

Chris Hine | Monday, October 30, 2006

The women’s golf team heads to Kiawah Island, S.C., to close out its fall season in the 54-hole Edwin Watts/Palmetto Intercollegiate Tournament Monday and Tuesday.

The Irish enter the contest following a fifth place finish in the Taylormade Aztec Fall Classic two weeks ago in San Diego. There, the Irish shot a 299 on day two, their first round under 300 all year.

“Hopefully we can keep the momentum from the play in the last round of the last tournament,” coach Susan Holt said. “I’d like for them to finish the season on a strong note.”

Notre Dame enters the tournament ranked 66th according to Golfstat.com. Out of the 20-team field, six are ranked higher than the Irish, with Campbell being the highest ranked at No. 43.

“This is a real opportunity for the team to prove to themselves how good they are and show others how good the ND program is,” Holt said.

Playing from the No. 1 slot is senior Noriko Nakazaki, who enters the tournament playing her best golf of the season. Nakazaki finished fifth in the Taylormade Classic with a one-over par 145, her best finish of the season.

In the No. 2 slot is sophomore Lisa Maunu. Maunu finished tied for 31st in San Diego despite nearly missing the tournament with a throat ailment.

“I worked a lot on my short game because it was really cold this last week,” she said. “It’s a good field so we hope to move up in the rankings.”

Freshmen Kristen Wetzel and Annie Brophy will also compete in team play this week. On the season, both Wetzel and Brophy have had nine of their first 11 rounds as members of the team count toward the overall team scores.

“I’ve been working a lot on my putting,” Brophy said. “It’s been a constant struggle for me.”

Junior Jane Lee rounds out the Irish lineup. Lee is participating in her fourth tournament for the Irish and is carrying a stroke average of 78.63 into South Carolina.

The tournament will take place at the Oak Point Golf Club at the College of Charleston.

“It has a lot of marsh land and it’s quite narrow. We had a good practice round [Sunday],” Holt said. “It’s a course that requires you to respect it. It’s easy to let your focus drift.”

The Irish will once again be without junior Alejandra Diaz-Calderon and freshman Julie Kim, who have missed the entire fall season due to injury.

The teams will play 36 holes on day one, with the final 18 coming on Tuesday. Live scoring of the tournament will be available on golfstat.com.