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ND Women’s Golf: Golfers not in top spot for first time

Lorenzo Reyes | Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Notre Dame was kept busy over fall break, taking part in two tournaments, finishing in second and in a tie for fourth. The Lady Paladin Invitational, which took place Oct. 19-21 saw the Irish finish below first place for the first time all season.

After the first day, it looked as though the Irish would struggle at the Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C., shooting 311 leaving them in a tie for eighth place. Notre Dame, however, shed six strokes off during their second round and finished the invitational with a tournament-best round of six-over par 294, putting them in second place out of the field of 18.

“In Furman, we really got off to a poor start and dug ourselves a pretty big hole,” coach Susan Holt said. “We were able to recover from it though. We got better each day, and it helped our confidence going into Alabama.”

TCU took the title during the three-day tournament shooting an 896 (300-297-299).

Continuing her solid freshman campaign, So-Hyun Park led the Irish golfers with a nine-over par 225 (80-72-73) leaving her in a tie for seventh place, marking the second time she has led the team all season.

Fellow freshman Katie Conway finished second for the Irish and 11th overall with her 11-over par 227 (75-79-73). Conway and Park both paced Notre Dame on the final round with one-over par 73 showings.

Sophomore Kristin Wetzel finished third for the Irish with her score of 230 (81-75-74), putting her in 17th-place, while junior co-captain Lisa Maunu fired a 16-over par 232 (75-80-77) for a 23rd-place tie.

Rounding out the Irish golfers was sophomore Annie Brophy, who finished tied for 49th with her mark of 21-over par 237 (84-79-74).

Notre Dame then headed to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Ann Rhoads Intercollegiate at the North River Yacht Club, which took place from Friday to Sunday, concluding the first half of Notre Dame’s season.

The SEC held the top three spots of the tournament as Arkansas took the title with an 886 (295-300-291), followed by Auburn’s 894 (301-300-293) and Florida’s 896 (307-300-289).

The Irish, shooting a score 897 (298-300-299) finished in a tie for fourth with fellow Big East rival Louisville, who carded an 897 (297-299-301).

“We faced an extremely difficult course in Alabama,” Holt said. “I’ve been coaching golf for eighteen years now and that was in the top-five toughest courses I’ve ever faced. It was demanding.”

Park once again led all Irish golfers marking the third time all season with her two-over par 215 (73-72-70). In all of her tournaments this season, the freshman has finished in the top-seven.

Maunu was the second top-10 finisher for Notre Dame as she carded a nine-over par 222 (75-74-73) on the tournament for 10th place.

Conway’s top score of the tournament on the final round helped place her in 46th with her collective effort of 231 (77-78-76).

Brophy was in fourth place for the Irish and 47th overall, as she shot a 232 (75-76-81), while Wetzel finished in a seven-way tie for 54th, firing a 234 (75-79-80).

Now that the fall portion of the season has concluded, Holt doesn’t want her players to get rusty over the offseason. Thanks to the Robert and Marilyn Rolfs Family All-Season Varsity Golf Facility, she won’t have to worry about that any longer.

“The new facility will allow us to practice indoors everyday,” Holt said. “We can putt, chip and drive indoors when there is snow on the ground, which will help us avoid rust. The new facility has helped us keep up with everyone else around the nation.”

In terms of her preseason expectations, Holt feels as though her team is where they want to be.

“I think we’re right on target,” she said. “They set lofty goals, and what they’ve achieved lets them know they’re spot on. Our goal is to go all the way. I think they will come out motivated in the spring. We all have one goal in mind – to make it to the NCAA Regionals and play in that second week of May.”