April 3, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – For the third time this season the Notre Dame women’s golf team completed a clean sweep of the team and individual titles at an event. This time the achievement occurred at the Indiana Invitational as the Irish posted a 20-over par 620 (312-308) for the two rounds of play, while sophomore Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) carded a two-over par 146 (71-75) at the par 72, 6,142-yard Indiana University Golf Club. The Irish now have a total of four team crowns this season and Nakazaki’s win is the first of her Notre Dame career. The tournament was reduced from 54-holes to 36 due to inclement weather and wet course conditions on Saturday.
Heading into today’s play the Irish carried a five-stroke lead over Grand Valley State and the team would increase their advantage by four shots on the day to defeat the Lakers and the rest of the 19-team field en route to their second consecutive tournament title after winning the St. Croix Collegiate Classic on March 13. Nakazaki’s path to victory was cut a little closer as she edged out Toledo’s Natalie Storck by a single stroke after leading by three shots coming into Sunday’s action.
“It was very exciting to win,” said Nakazaki following the victory. “I didn’t play as well as I would have liked especially after finishing with two bogey’s, but I’m still very happy with the win. The spring season is starting out well for us with two victories so far and that will build our confidence. We can still play better and we have things to work on with our scores that will hopefully get us below 300. Purdue will be a tough field next week but we are excited to be playing there and we hope to do well.”
Notre Dame junior co-captain Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) collected yet another top-five finish for her career as she cared rounds of 76 and 78 to place in a tie for fifth with a 10-over par total of 154. Senior Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) knocked three shots of her first day total of 80 to nearly crack the top-10 with a 13-over par 157, which placed her in a tie for 11th.
Sophomore Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) and junior Sarah Bassett (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark) each had dramatic improvements from their respective first round totals of 85 and 92. Brown dropped seven strokes off of her initial round with a six-over par 78 to close out with a 19-over par 163 to place in a tie for 37th, while Bassett bettered her opening round total by 11 shots with an 81 to finish with a 173 and in a tie for 87th overall.
Junior co-captain Suzie Hayes (Dublin, Ireland/Loreto College) had to withdraw from the first round of play due to a hand injury yet returned to the Irish lineup on Sunday to register a six-over par 78.
“I thought we played mediocre golf,” stated Irish head coach Debby King, whose teams have won 10 tournament titles during her Notre Dame tenure. “Being the highest ranked team in the field we anticipated on winning this event but we knew it wouldn’t be as easy as it was in St. Croix. The conditions were a lot better today. It was a beautiful day here. We just have to putt better if we hope to do well next week at Purdue. I thought Noriko played well and it was nice to see her get her first win. It’s always big for your confidence to get that first win. It was tougher for her because she was in first (after the first day) and held onto the lead. It’s usually easier to try and win if you are coming from behind.”
The other Notre Dame tournament sweeps this season occurred at the Jeannine McHaney Invitational/Central Regional Preview back on September 24-26 as Brophy took home top honors and at the St. Croix Collegiate Classic on March 11-13 where Brown won her first-ever collegiate event.
The Fighting Irish return to the course next weekend as they will take part in the Lady Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind. on Saturday and Sunday. To follow the Irish throughout the 2004-005 season please log on to und.com or call the Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.
Indiana Invitational (Indiana University Golf Club. – Bloomington, Ind., Par 72, 6,142-yards)
Top-10 Team Scores (Final 36-hole totals): 1. Notre Dame 620 (312-308), 2. Grand Valley State 629 (317-312), 3. Minnesota 634 (334-300), 4. Ohio U. 635 (323-312), 5t. Toledo 636 (322-314), 5t. Marshall 636 (325-311), 7t. Wisconsin 642 (324-318), 7t. Illinois 642 (331-311), 7t. Iowa 642 (330-312), 10t. Arkansas-Little Rock 645 (329-316), 10t. Indiana 645 (327-318).
Top-10 Golfers (Final 36-hole totals): 1. Noriko Nakazaki (Notre Dame) 146 (71-75), 2. Natalie Storck (Toledo) 147 (74-73), 3. Amber Churchill (Marshall) 151 (77-74), 4. Megan Godfrey (Illinois) 153 (82-71), 5t. Liz Bennett (Iowa) 154 (81-73), 5t. Katie Brophy (Notre Dame) 154 (76-78), 5t. Enid Gage (Grand Valley State) 154 (75-79), 5t. Brittany Lambertson (St. John’s) 154 (77-77), 9t. Melissa Sneller (Grand Valley State) 155 (81-74), 9t. Kristi Vienneau (Grand Valley State) 155 (78-77).
Other Notre Dame Scores (Final 36-hole totals): 11t. Karen Lotta 157 (80-77), 37t. Stacy Brown 163 (85-78), 87t. Sarah Bassett 173 (92-81), Suzie Hayes 78 (WD-78).
— ND –