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ND Women’s Golf: Shortened match aids Irish effort

Eric Prister | Monday, September 28, 2009

Despite a weather delay that forced the match to be shortened from three rounds to two, the Irish were able to move up three spots during the second round of the Betty Lou Evans Fall Invitational in Kentucky en route to a third place finish.

After an opening round plus-26 score of 304 on Friday, Notre Dame was slotted in sixth place before the inclement weather commenced, cancelling Saturday’s second round and shortening the tournament. Play resumed on Sunday, and the Irish improved by 10 strokes, shooting a 294 that moved them into a tie for third with No. 12 University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

“We had to play well in order to just maintain,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “I don’t know if there was an advantage to (the weather) because it puts everyone on equal ground. We just played as well as we needed to play in order to just maintain.”

Senior Anne Brophy paced the Irish in the first round, shooting a plus-two score of 74, which was good enough for a tie for fifth place overall. Junior So-Hyun Park shot one stroke behind Brophy, finishing in a tie for 13th after day one. Sophomore Becca Huffer and junior Katie Conway also had their scores counted for the Irish, shooting plus-four and plus-seven, respectively.

Park, Huffer and Conway each improved their first round scores on Sunday on the way to Notre Dame’s third-place finish. Park’s 72 was the best round of the day for the Irish, and moved her into a tie for eighth overall.

“(Park) played better this tournament,” Holt said. “We need her to shoot the kind of scores that she just did. I’m happy for her. I’m sure she got her confidence back. She gives us a balance in our scoring, which is what we need.”

Huffer also improved her score by three strokes, shooting a 73 Sunday which was good enough for a tie with Brophy for 14th overall.

Conway showed the biggest improvement for the Irish, shooting five strokes better to finish with a 74 and a tie for 36th overall.

Notre Dame finished 11 strokes back from No. 9 Florida State, which shot only five-over on the second day on its way to the victory in the University of Kentucky hosted event. The University of Central Florida finished second, just six strokes ahead of the Irish.

“I think we’re improving,” Holt said. “We still have things we need to work on, but for the most part we’re moving in the right direction. Their confidence is getting a little better. We just have to keep working at it.”

The Irish will take the week off before travelling to The Glen Club in Chicago, where they will compete in the two-day Windy City Collegiate on Oct. 5 and 6.