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ND Women’s Golf: Experience key as team heads to Windy City

Chris Michalski | Monday, October 5, 2009

The Irish will travel to Chicago today for the Windy City Collegiate Classic.

This will be Notre Dame’s first time participating in the tournament, although the Irish did compete in the Northwestern Invitational for the 1996-97 season. The Invitational was played on the same course, and the Irish finished fifth.

Despite the experience on the team from previous years, this season is still young.

“We are two tournaments in to a 10 tournament season, so we have a ways to go,” Irish coach Susan Holt said.

Notre Dame’s best finish came in last weekend’s Bettie Lou Evans invitational, where it tied Tennessee-Chattanooga for third place. Before that, it struggled in the Mary Fossum Invitational on Sept. 13, tying for 10th in a 17-team field.

The Irish will get no relief from the tough competition they have faced so far this year, as the Collegiate Classic features a 15-team field that contains three top-25 programs. Among these are top-ranked Purdue, No. 11 New Mexico and No. 17 Arizona.

The Irish lineup for the Classic will remain consistent with the previous two tournaments, with seniors Annie Brophy and Kristin Wetzel, juniors So-Hyun Park and Katie Conway and sophomore Becca Huffer set to play for the Irish.

Huffer has put up the best numbers so far in 2009, with a team-best stroke average of 74.4. Even though she is the youngest player in the lineup, the team looks to her for production on a regular basis.

“Becca is just somebody that the team knows is going to put up a good number on the board every round,” said Holt, “she is going be there; she’s going to show up and get it done.”

The Irish also look to leadership from senior captain Brophy, who follows close behind Huffer in stroke average with 75.6.

“Her team has a lot of respect for [Brophy], as far as the way she goes about the game,” said Holt. “She is really competitive, but she is not totally consumed by the game.”

The format of the Classic will be a two-day, three-round tournament with two rounds to be played on today and the third to be played Tuesday.

A shotgun start will begin each day at 8:30 a.m.