May 5, 2005
LUBBOCK, Texas – The Notre Dame women’s golf team currently resides in 18th-place after the first round of play at the NCAA Central Regional. Following a one-hour fog delay, which pushed back the morning tee times for all 21 teams, the Irish carded an 18-hole total of 306 (+18) in windy conditions at the par 72, 6,328-yard Jerry S. Rawls Golf Course on Thursday afternoon. Senior Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) and sophomore Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) are part of an 11-way tie for 39th-place and seven strokes off the lead after pacing the Irish with three-over par 75s.
The University of Texas is atop the team leader board after posting a two-over par 290 on the day, while Missouri and New Mexico are one-stroke behind and tied for second. 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 eight shots out of the eighth spot, which is currently occupied by LSU and Tulsa.
Auburn’s Diana Ramage leads the 107-golfer field with a four-under par 68. Texas’ Lisa Ferrero and Texas A&M’s Christa Spedding are tied for second with two-under par 70s. In all, 16 golfers shot at or under par on the day.
“We played decent today,” said Lotta. “We really hope to shoot low tomorrow since we’ll be playing in the morning and we won’t have to deal with the afternoon wind like we did today. We didn’t shoot ourselves out of it so we still have a good chance going into the final two days.”
In a return to her home state of Texas, sophomore Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) shot a six-over par 78 for the Irish, which places her in an eight-way tie for 76th along with teammate Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash.). Brophy, a junior co-captain, leads the squad with 76.25 scoring average on the season.
Freshman Jane Lee (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula), the only member of the Notre Dame lineup who has not appeared in an NCAA tournament prior to this year, registered a nine-over 81 on Thursday to find herself in a four-way tie for 94th.
“The team feels really good about where they are at right now,” commented Irish head coach Debby King after the opening round of play. “We feel like shooting a 290 tomorrow is realistic and that could get us right where we want to be. It’ll also be to our advantage to not have to play in the wind. The teams that played this morning will have to deal with those conditions tomorrow afternoon.”
The Irish placed 17th in the program’s first-ever trip to an NCAA regional one year ago, with Nakazaki leading the way with a team-best 54-hole total of 233 (+20). Notre Dame won the Jeannine McHaney Invitational/Central Regional Preview at the Rawls Course back in September with a two-round total of 593 (+17) against a field that did not feature all of the top teams from the region.
Friday’s second round will get underway with tee times at 7:30 a.m. (CDT). The Notre Dame golfers will tee it up between 8:30 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. 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, 18-hole totals):
1. Texas 290, 2t. Missouri 291, 2t. New Mexico 291, 4. Texas A&M 293, 5. Auburn 294, 6. Purdue 295, 7. Arizona State 296, 8t. LSU 298, 8t. Tulsa 298, 10t. TCU 299, 10t. Michigan State 299, 18. NOTRE DAME 306.
INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (top 7 of 107):
1. Diana Ramage (Auburn) 68, 2t. Lisa Ferrero (Texas) 70, 2t. Christa Spedding (Texas A&M) 70, 4t. Christine Fernandez (New Mexico) 71, 4t. Whitney Frykman (Purdue) 71, 4t. Maria Ohlsson (Missouri) 71, 4t. Onnarin Sattayabanphot (Purdue) 71.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS:
39t. Karen Lotta 75, 39t. Noriko Nakazaki 75, 76t. Katie Brophy 78, 76t. Stacy Brown 78, 94t. Jane Lee 81
— ND –