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ND Women’s Golf: Irish face top teams in North Carolina

Meaghen Veselik | Friday, April 3, 2009

No. 30 Notre Dame will close out regular season play this weekend as it makes its first appearance at the 12th Annual Bryan National Collegiate Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

The team will face some of the top national teams’ best five golfers in the three-day event, Notre Dame’s last competition before the Big East tournament.

“We need to play well, we haven’t really put three rounds together recently,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “We’re at a point in our season where we need to put our rounds together, and I think it’s certainly achievable this weekend.”

The five-woman Irish lineup will be made up of senior captain Lisa Maunu, junior Annie Brophy, sophomores So-Hyun Park and Katie Conway and freshman Becca Huffer.

They will play a total round of 54 holes, one round of 18 holes per day, on the par-72 course. The top four of the five scores each day will go towards the overall team score.

“There are 18 teams, and at least 10 are top-25 teams, so there’s some great competition,” Holt said. “It’s time for us to step up and make a statement. Our schedule has given us the opportunity to do that, and I’d like to see us get our confidence up before heading into the Big East tournament.”

Florida took the Bryan Tournament title last season with an overall 906 (42 over par), and Arkansas’ Stacy Lewis earned medalist honors win an even-par 216.

Competitors this season include No 3. Virginia, No. 8 Georgia, No. 9 LSU, No. 18 Louisville, No. 15 Michigan State, No. 13 North Carolina and No. 12 Wake Forest.

In their last appearance, the Irish placed sixth at the March 22 Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas.

The team moved up one spot on the last day of competition, finishing with a final-round score of 311 (23 over). Park scored a team-best 76 for the second consecutive day, ending the tournament in a tie for 23rd place at 225 (9 over). Her final round included one birdie on the 18th hole and 13 pars, but was brought down by three bogeys over four holes and a double bogey on the par-5 fifth hole.

Conway finished her final round at 77 (5 over), improving throughout the weekend. Huffer also shot a (5-over) 77 in the third round, going 11 over with 227 for the tournament. Maunu and Brophy shot 81 and 83 respectively in the final round. Maunu finished with 11 pars and in 47th place with a total of 233(17 over). Brophy had nine pars and tied for 58th with a total of 236 (20 over).

Facing some tough competition this weekend, Notre Dame is looking to hold its own in the tournament, and knows what it needs to do to achieve that.

“If we could get our rounds together, we have a good chance of making a good showing,” Holt said. “It’ll be a challenge to do that, and we have to be at our best. We’re hoping to manage the course a bit better than we have been. It’s a tough course, but I think it plays to our advantage this weekend.”

The Irish will tee off from the 10th hole Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. in the split-tee start with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. Sunday.