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Napa Cup starts in Louisville today

Lorenzo Reyes | Monday, September 17, 2007

Notre Dame isn’t looking at the field. It’s looking at itself.

After beginning their season with a tournament victory, the Irish are looking to make a statement today at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup in Louisville, Ky. The tournament, hosted by the Louisville, is a two-day event. The event will feature several teams from the Big East, SEC and Conference USA.

“Whenever we get ready for a tournament, we know we are going to face some tough competition,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “We’re not looking to go out there and beat specific teams. We want to go and beat the golf course and compete to the best of our ability.”

Notre Dame’s lineup will feature Sophomore Kristin Wetzel shooting from the No. 1 spot. Wetzel finished tied for No. 42 at last week’s Cougar Classic when she fired a 225 (76-75-74).

The second spot belongs to freshman Katie Conway. In her first collegiate action, Conway put up a score of 231 (78-75-78) placing her in a tie for No. 64.

Fellow freshman So-Hyun Park will tee off from the third spot. The rookie fired a three-under-par 213 (70-69-74) in her debut at the Cougar Classic.

“I’m not surprised at all,” Holt said of Park’s early success. “… She doesn’t put any pressure on herself on the course. She just goes out there and knows what she has to do, and executes.”

Junior Lisa Maunu fared even better last week. The veteran co-captain, who will shoot fourth for the Irish, set program records for the lowest round of golf with her opening-round six-under-par 66, and the lowest total for a three-round tournament with a six-under 210 (66-74-70).

Rounding out the lineup will be sophomore Annie Brophy, who tied for No. 27 and third on the squad with her six-over par 222 (75-74-73) at the Cougar Classic.

Notre Dame is riding a wave of confidence and momentum after last week’s win in South Carolina.

“It’s huge to open the season like we did,” Holt said. “We have a lot of confidence now. Everyone played well. I’m really excited to tee off and see what kind of success we can have. The team wants to go to Louisville and back up the way they performed last week.”

“… As a team, we try to set high goals. This victory allows them to realize that they can achieve what they set their minds to.”

And though the Irish are going about their season in a very businesslike manner, Holt said, they are still enjoying themselves.

“They’re having a lot of fun,” Holt said. “They’ve been able to build up a strong bond with each other. In a season, there are highs and lows, and I know that this bond will get them through those lows.”