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ND set to tee of on season in Florida

Joe Meixell | Monday, February 19, 2007

Notre Dame begins the second half of its season with the seventh-annual Central District Classic in Parrish, Fla., today.

Fifteen teams from the NCAA’s Central Region will showcase their talent at The River Wilderness Golf and Country Club in the tournament hosted by Michigan State.

The Irish face some stiff competition, including the Spartans, who are ranked No. 20 on Golfstat.com. Other top-30 teams include Arkansas at No. 23, Texas A&M at No. 24, Ohio State at No. 26, LSU at No. 27 and Northwestern at No. 30.

“This is a very strong field to open up the season with,” first-year Irish coach Susan Holt said. “The positive with that is we have an opportunity right out of the gate to make a statement, and that’s what I’m hoping for. It’s early in the season and everyone is getting started so we hope things can go our way.”

The Irish are currently No. 66 and will compete against Missouri and LSU for the second time this season.

Irish senior co-captain Noriko Nakazaki will tee it up from the No. 1 spot in Florida. With her average score of 75.93, she posted the team’s highest mark through 14 rounds, which spans five tournaments.

Sophomore Lisa Maunu will tee off from the second spot. Maunu twice achieved a score of one-under-par 71 during the fall portion of the season.

Freshman Kristin Wetzel will take the field from the third spot for the Irish. Wetzel is averaging a 79.14, and has played in all five tournaments of the season. Her best round of the season was a score of 72 at the Lady Irish Invitational.

Freshman Annie Brophy, will start from the fourth spot today. She ranks third on the Irish with an average score of 78.29. At the Cougar Classic last September, Brophy scored a two-over-par 74 – her best finish of the season.

Fellow freshman Julie Kim will round out the list at the fifth spot Monday. Due to an injury suffered in the fall, Kim will participate in her first collegiate competition.

Holt hoped the team would build some momentum after last week’s practices.

“I think they really know where their game stands right now,” she said. “We were able to knock the rust off and that felt really good. We hope to build on that at this tournament.”