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ND Women’s Golf: Irish brave weather, come away with fifth

Mike Blasco | Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On a day when the wind was blowing everyone away, Notre Dame was just glad to hold on.

In wet and blustery conditions, No. 25 Notre Dame eked out a fifth-place finish with a 36-hole total of 642, 51 over-par, at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Tex. Irish freshman So-Hyun Park carded her seventh top-10 finish in eight contests with a 12 over-par 156, ending up seventh overall.

The inclement weather wreaked havoc in Austin, shortening the tournament by forcing the University of Texas Golf Club to cancel the second round of competition and driving scores up across the board.

“The conditions made it very tough,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “You knew the scores were going to be high today, but I was shocked with how high they were.”

The tournament featured some nation’s best, as the field of 18 featured five top-25 teams. No. 22 New Mexico led throughout the tournament, clinching a first-place finish with a 32 over-par 623. No. 5 Florida finished one shot back while Texas (630) and No. 6 Arkansas (632) finished third and fourth, respectively. Notre Dame and No. 24 TCU tied for fifth, rounding out the top five.

Coach Holt accepted her team’s finish, especially considering the competition and weather.

“There were some good teams here and [the weather] affected everyone,” Coach Holt said. “I just told our team to keep grinding. I feel like we made the best of the situation by tying for fifth. It could have been worse but we grinded it out.”

Behind Park, fellow freshman Katie Conway shot her third top-10 finish of the season for Notre Dame, finishing play with a 13-over 157 in a three-way tie for 10th. Co-captain Lisa Maunu carded a 21 over-par 165 to finish tied for 51st overall.

Notre Dame returns to competition April 6-8 at the Canes & Cards Classic in Miami, Fla. The tournament will be the Irish’s last contest before the Big East tournament.

“We should play well [in Miami] and hopefully that’ll give us some momentum heading into the Big East tournament,” Holt said. “You just kind of have to toss this tournament aside and move on and that’s what we’ll do when we go to Miami.”