Sept. 7, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 2007-08 Notre Dame women’s golf season will get underway at the Cougar Classic in Hanahan, S.C. on Sunday, Sept. 9. The tournament will run through Tuesday, Sept. 11. The Irish will square off against 19 teams, including the host school the College of Charleston, at the par 72, 6,159-yard Yeamans Hall Golf Club.
FORMAT: Each team’s lineup will be comprised of five golfers with the lowest four scores for each round counting towards the overall team score. The tournament will consist of 54 holes with each day featuring one 18-hole round of play. Sunday and Monday will begin with 7:40 a.m. (ET) tee times. Tuesday’s third and final round will commence with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m.
FIELD: A field of 20 teams will take to the Yeamans Hall Golf Club. Teams participating are Alabama, College of Charleston, Florida State, Furman, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Richmond, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M and UNC Greensboro.
Tennessee finished last season ranked 14th, while Texas A&M was 15th. North Carolina ranked 18th and the 24th ranked team in the nation was Florida State. South Carolina was 25th and Alabama was 27th. Rounding out the top 30 of 2006-07 was LSU at 28th.
NOTRE DAME LINEUP: Sophomore Kristin Wetzel (Middletown, N.Y./Hilton Head Prep) will tee it up from the No. 1 spot in the Fighting Irish lineup. Wetzel posted a 78.82 scoring average during her freshman campaign in 2006-07. Her low round of the season was an even-par 72, while her low 54-hole total was a 232 (+16).
Freshman Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) will be making her Irish debut as she plays from the second position in the lineup. She will be joined by fellow freshman So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep (FL)), who begins her college career from the No. 3 spot for Notre Dame. The duo made up the top-ranked recruiting class in program history. Park was the No. 9 recruit in the 2006-07 class according to the American Junior Golf Association, while Conway was No. 21.
Junior co-captain Lisa Maunu (St. Thomas, Ontario/Parkside Collegiate Institute) brings a veteran presence at the fourth spot. Maunu carries a career stroke average of 78.95 into her third season with the Irish. She posted a 78.04 average last season and garnered all-BIG EAST honors. Her top round of the campaign was a one-under par 71, while her top three-round score was a six-over par 222.
Sophomore Annie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) rounds out the Fighting Irish lineup. Brophy is coming off a solid rookie season that saw her shoot the team’s top 54-hole total of 216 (E). That came during the BIG EAST Championship, where she finished third overall. Her season stroke average was 77.04 and her top round was a one-under par 71.
LAST YEAR: The Fighting Irish set a program record with a 305.46 scoring average last season, which was the first campaign under head coach Susan Holt. Holt came aboard in August of 2006 after spending 13 successful years at the University of South Florida.
Notre Dame nearly captured the BIG EAST Conference title, which might have put the Irish into the NCAA Tournament field. The Irish carried a three-shot lead into the final round, yet Louisville forced a playoff after both squads where tied with identical scores of 891 (+27) after 54 holes of play. The Cardinals topped the Irish by one shot on the first playoff hole. Notre Dame had four all-conference members, which matched a program record. Three of the all-BIG EAST performers return this season (Brophy, Maunu and sophomore Julie Kim).
The Irish had three runner-up finishes and five top-five finishes in all. Noriko Nakazaki led the Irish with a program-record stroke average of 74.71 during her senior campaign in 2006-07. She finished her Notre Dame career with a scoring average of 75.80, which is tops in school history. In May of 2007, Nakazaki became the first student-athlete in program history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament as an individual entrant.
IRISH THOUGHTS: Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt talks about her team as they head into the season-opening tournament …
“I think practice has been very productive so far. Each time out we’ve gotten better and our scores have improved. Our game management has also improved and we are heading in the right direction. We have good depth. The one through five spots will change and I’m excited about that. I’m excited to see how some of them are shooting right now.”
“There are a lot of good teams in this tournament. The tournament will show us where we stand and how we measure up and it’s a good opportunity for us. It’s a great course and one of the premier tournaments in the country.”
RESULTS: Live hole-by-hole scoring of the Cougar Classic is available through Golfstat. To access the site go to http://www.golfstatresults.com. Full results will also be posted at http://www.CofCSports.com.
NEXT UP: Notre Dame will travel to Louisville, Ky. for the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup, which takes place Sept. 17 & 18 at the Cardinal Club.