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ND Women’s Golf: Irish head south for invitational

Joe Meixell | Friday, April 4, 2008

Coming off a hard fought fifth-place finish at last week’s Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational, No. 20 Notre Dame hopes to take care of business next week at the Canes and Cardinals Classic in Miami, Fla. The tournament will be three rounds – held over two days – at the par-72, 6,982 yard Senator Course at Don Shula’s Golf Course.

The University of Miami-hosted tournament is the final contest of the year for the Irish before they play in the Big East Championship at the end of the month.

Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt is optimistic that the team will perform well.

“The course at Miami will be a fun course,” Holt said. “We should play well there and hopefully that’ll give us some momentum heading into the Big East Tournament.”

This season has been marked by historic successes for the Irish. The squad has had a program-record four first-place finishes this season, including a program-first three consecutive tournament victories. Notre Dame also collected honors at Golf World Magazine’s mid-season awards banquet, being named the most surprising women’s team, while Irish freshman So-Hyun Park was named most surprising women’s player. Park is on pace to shatter the program’s single-season scoring record of 74.12 with a season average of 73.26, and has carded eight consecutive top-10 finishes, including two first-place finishes. Holt is not surprised by the team’s successes.

“As a group, we’re right on target,” Holt said. “As a team, at the beginning of the year, we set high goals for ourselves. People on the outside might be surprised, but to be honest, we aren’t. We made a commitment to do exactly what we’re doing. We’re on track.”

Although Park has set the pace for Notre Dame, the team has succeeded in large part because of solid contributions from everyone on the team. Each golfer has recorded at least one top-ten finish this year, with junior captain Lisa Maunu opening up the season with a first-place finish at the Cougar Classic last Fall. Holt has attributed her squad’s success to fundamentals and mental focus.

“Golf is basically hitting shots and playing holes and managing our game,” Holt said. “We have to get into our mode, that thought process, that comes with managing the course well.”