March 7, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team will look to rebound off of a disappointing spring season-opening performance when they take to the course at the St. Croix Collegiate Classic in the U.S. Virgin Islands March 11-13. A year ago, the Fighting Irish placed in a tie for fifth at the tournament, which is hosted by Xavier University. Notre Dame currently ranks 39th according to the latest golfstat.com rankings.
ST. CROIX COLLEGIATE CLASSIC: The eight-team field will take to the par-72, 6,020-yard Carambola Golf Club for three rounds of play beginning Friday, March 11 with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m. Rounds two and three will take place on March 12 and 13, respectively, with shotgun starts at 7:30 a.m. both days. The Irish have faced three of the teams so far during the 2004-05 season (Cincinnati, Marshall and Xavier) and own a 4-0 mark versus those opponents. The highest ranked teams in the field after the Irish are Xavier at 110th and Marshall at 122nd.
NOTRE DAME LINEUP: Head coach Debby King will take the entire squad of 10 down to the Islands for four days of practice before competition gets underway on Friday. Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep), Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates), Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands), Jane Lee (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula) and Lauren Gebauer (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) make up the scoring team for the Irish. The low four scores from each team’s five golfers will determine a team’s overall score. Brophy, Nakazaki and Lee have been part of the traveling squad for all eight events so far during the 2004-05 season. Suzie Hayes (Dublin, Ireland/Loreto College), Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount), Sarah Bassett (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark), Casey Rotella (Keswick, Va./Monticello) and Alejandra Diaz-Calderon (Guadalajara, Mexico/American) will compete as individuals in the classic. Brophy and Nakazaki are one and two in season stroke average at 75.40 and 76.30, respectively. The Irish have a team average of 304.10.
Gebauer was the top finisher for the Irish at the event last season as she posted a 237 (+21) to place in a tie for 19th while competing as an individual. Bassett, also competing as an individual entrant, carded a 239 to place tied for 24th at the Collegiate Classic, which served as the 2004 spring season-opener for the Irish. Nakazaki, Brophy and Lotta all finished with a 240 (+24) as members of the scoring team.
LAST TIME OUT: Notre Dame placed 13th out of a very difficult field of 15 at the Central District Classic in Parrish, Fla. The Irish carded a team total of 939 (+75), while Brophy paced the squad with a 54-hole total of 231 (+15) to place in a tie for 39th and collect her 11th career team-leading effort. The field featured five teams ranked in the top-25 of the golfstat.com rankings. Nakazaki tied for 41st overall with a 16-over par 232 and Lee shot a 238 (+22) to finish tied at 54th. Hayes with a 239 (+23) and Brown with a 242 (+26) placed tied for 58th and 66th, respectively.
IRISH THOUGHTS: Head coach Debby King on the St. Croix Collegiate Classic …
“We feel very confident that we should win this event. It’s not the strongest field that we have played against so we are setting personal goals.”
“It’s going to be great for the whole team. We are taking all 10 (golfers) down there and everybody is going to get a chance to qualify for spring events.”
On having a chance to practice at the Carambola Golf Club all week before the tournament begins …
“The whole winter we’ve been able to work on swinging, putting, chipping and pitching but we just haven’t been able to go out and play. As soon as we get down there we have tee times and are going to play.”
Sophomore Noriko Nakazaki’s thoughts on the St. Croix Collegiate Classic and the season to this point …
“We hope to do well down at St. Croix. Our (spring) season didn’t start out how we would have liked down in Florida but we just need to change our attitude and we should do better at St. Croix. There are only eight teams competing down there, including us, and we feel like we should be able to do well and win.”
“The start to the spring wasn’t good with how we played in Florida but we still have five or six tournaments to play better and change things and that all starts with our next tournament down there.”
RESULTS: Results will be available on the Xavier University athletics web site at www.xavier.edu/athletics. For more information please log on to und.com or call the Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.
NEXT UP FOR THE IRISH: The Fighting Irish will have nearly three weeks off before teeing it up at the Indiana Invitational in Bloomington, Ind. on April 2-3.
2005 ST. CROIX COLLEGIATE CLASSIC FIELD (Irish record versus opponent in 2004-05):
Barry University (0-0), Cincinnati (1-0), Eastern Kentucky (0-0), Marshall (1-0), Notre Dame, Texas-Pan American (0-0), Wofford (0-0), Xavier (2-0).