May 6, 2005
LUBBOCK, Texas – The Notre Dame women’s golf team carded a disappointing 35-over par 323 during the second round of the NCAA Central Regional on Friday morning at the par 72, 6,328-yard Jerry S. Rawls Golf Course. The Fighting Irish had to battle strong winds just as they did on Thursday and as a result they will carry a 36-hole total of 629 (+53) into Saturday’s third and final round of play. Notre Dame resides in 19th-place out of the 21-team field, while sophomore Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) is tied for 49th individually after firing an eight-over par 80 on the day and possesses a team-best total of 155 (+11). None of the Irish golfers could match or better their respective first round total during the second round on Friday.
High scores were the story of the day as each squad battled the elements. However, Baylor seemed to be the exception as the Bears fired a 13-over par 301 and are part of a four-way tie for first along with Texas A&M, Missouri and Auburn, who all have 603 (+27) totals. The top eight teams from the regional will advance to the NCAA Championship May 17-20 in Sunriver, Oregon. The Fighting Irish, who entered the regional seeded 20th out of the 21-team field, are 22 strokes out of the eighth spot, which is currently occupied by Michigan State and Texas.
Texas’ Lisa Ferrero leads the 107-golfer field with a one-under par 143 (70-73). Auburn’s Diana Ramage and Arizona State’s Alissa Kuczka are second and third, respectively, with scores of 145 and 147. Michigan State’s Heather Rose had the low round of the day with an even-par 72 and is tied for 22nd overall with a 151 (+7).
Notre Dame senior Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) had a solid first round with a three-over 75 yet followed that up with a nine-over par 81 on Friday to currently place in a tie for 57th with a 156 (+12). Texas native Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands), a sophomore, fired the best round of the day for the Irish with a seven-over par 79 to go along with a first round tally of 78 for a 13-over par 157 to reside in a tie for 69th.
“We feel like we got a bad break both rounds by playing in the winds,” stated Notre Dame head coach Debby King after her team’s round on Friday. “We thought we were going to catch a break from the winds today by playing in the morning. But that’s not an excuse, that’s just the way it is. I was hoping that we’d be able to play rounds that tested our ability but the conditions are testing our patience more than anything. Tomorrow doesn’t look any better as it’s supposed to go from 30 miles-per-hour winds today to 40 to 50 miles-per-hour winds for tomorrow.”
Junior co-captain Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) had an 18-hole total of 78 on Thursday and saw that score rise as she carded an 11-over par 83 on Friday and is now tied for 85th with a 17-over 161. Freshman Jane Lee (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula) gained four strokes on her first round tally of 81 as she shot an 85 and will carry a 22-over par 166 into the final day of action. She is in 98th-place overall.
“Katie (Brophy) had some problems on the par 3’s,” said King. “If she can eliminate those problems then that could really lower our team score. Noriko (Nakazaki) got on what I call the `bogey train’ as she was trying to battle the winds. But these conditions challenge your mental toughness so we’ll just have to see how mentally tough we can be tomorrow.”
Last year the Irish placed 17th in the program’s first-ever trip to an NCAA regional, with Nakazaki leading the way with a team-best 54-hole total of 233 (+20). Each Irish golfer in this year’s regional lineup, except for Lee, played in the NCAAs one year ago.
Saturday’s final round of play will begin with tee times at 7:30 a.m. (CDT). Live scoring is available at golfstat.com and full results will be posted on texastech.com. For additional information please log onto und.com or call the Notre Dame athletics hotline at 574-631-3000.
NCAA Central Regional (Jerry S. Rawls Golf Course – Lubbock, Texas, Par 72, 6,328-yards)
TEAM STANDINGS (top 10 of 21, 36-hole totals):
1t. Baylor 603 (302-301), 1t. Texas A&M 603 (293-310), 1t. Missouri 603 (291-312), 1t. Auburn 603 (294-309), 5. Purdue 604 (295-309), 6. Arizona State 605 (296-309), 7t. Michigan State 607 (300-307), 7t. Texas 607 (290-317), 9. Tulsa 608 (298-310), 10. Arkansas 611 (300-311), 19. NOTRE DAME 629 (306-323).
INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (top 5 of 107):
1. Lisa Ferrero (Texas) 143 (70-73), 2. Diana Ramage (Auburn) 145 (68-77), 3. Alissa Kuczka (Arizona State) 147 (72-75), 4t. Megan Hull (Texas Tech) 148 (75-73), 4t. Christa Spedding (Texas A&M) 148 (70-78).
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS:
49t. Noriko Nakazaki 155 (75-80), 57t. Karen Lotta 156 (75-81), 69t. Stacy Brown 157 (78-79), 85t. Katie Brophy 161 (78-83), 98. Jane Lee 166 (81-85)