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ND Women’s Golf: Nakazaki to drive team during break invites

Lorenzo Reyes | Friday, March 9, 2007

Three underclassmen will round out Notre Dame’s top-four as the Irish head into their spring break tournaments.

The Irish will travel to Boulder City, Nev., March 12 for the three-day, 17-team UNLV Spring Invitational. The team will look to improve on its 10th-place finish at the Central District Classic last February.

Notre Dame will travel south to Austin, Texas, following the event for the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. The Irish will be one of 15 teams to compete for the title. The three-day tournament begins March 16 and will be played at the University of Texas Golf Club.

Notre Dame will compete with the same lineup in both tournaments. Senior co-captain Noriko Nakazaki will tee off from the No. 1 spot for the Irish. Nakazaki is coming off a 15-over 230 with rounds of 75-75-80 – putting her in a tie for 30th place in the field. It marked her fifth team-leading performance in the six tournaments of the 2006-07 season.

Sophomore Lisa Maunu will play from the No. 2 position in both tournaments. Maunu shot a 254 (89-87-78) putting her in a tie for 71st several weeks ago.

Freshman Kristen Wetzel will represent the Irish at the third spot next week. Wetzel was tied in 46th place with an overall score of 234 (79-79-76).

Fellow freshman Annie Brophy will tee off from the fourth spot. Brophy enters the tournament after shooting a 16-over 231 (79-76-76), which was enough for a 36th place tie.

Finishing off the list is freshman Julie Kim, who is golfing in her second collegiate tournament. Kim tied for 30th place alongside Nakazaki with a 230 (76-73-81) at the Central District Classic.

Irish coach Susan Holt noted the challenges Notre Dame will face in the coming week.

“We are going to face some competitive fields next week, which can put us in position for postseason play,” she said. “Any head to head wins we can come up with would help our confidence on our way to the playoffs.”

The team has been working on getting back to basics.

“As a team, we are trying to focus on playing one shot at a time, one hole at a time – simplifying the game,” Holt said. “We are trying to get back to the basics of executing the shot each at a time.”

Holt is hopeful that simplifying the fundamentals will result in the team’s success next week.

“If we can get all of our players to golf with that mindset for 18 holes and three rounds, this play will drastically help the team improve,” she said.