March 31, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team will travel a few hours to the south as they return to the links for the first time in nearly three weeks at the Indiana Invitational this Saturday and Sunday. The 19-team field will take to the par 72, 6,142-yard Indiana University Golf Club for three rounds of play beginning with the first 36-holes on Saturday. This event will mark the third tournament this spring for the Irish, who are coming off a victory at the St. Croix Collegiate Classic on March 11-13.
TOURNAMENT: This will be the Irish’s first northern tournament since they competed at the Shoot-Out at the Legends in Franklin, Ind. back in early October. The return to competition within the state of Indiana should be a welcome for the Irish, who have played in Florida and the Virgin Islands so far this spring and ended the fall season with appearances in South Carolina and Arkansas.
The Indiana Invitational begins Saturday, April 2, with continuous play in the first two rounds beginning with an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start. The final round will also be an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start on Sunday, April 3. The scoring format for the tournament will be six players, with the low four scores from each team for each round being counted towards the overall team score. Live stats will be available at http://www.golfstatresults.com and full results will be posted daily on iuhoosiers.com. Additional information can be found at und.com or by calling the Notre Dame athletics hotline at 574-631-3000.
FIELD: Besides Notre Dame and host school Indiana, 17 other teams will participate in this weekend’s event. Joining the Irish and Hoosiers will be Arkansas-Little Rock, Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Ferris State, Grand Valley, Illinois, Indianapolis, Iowa, IPFW, Marshall, Minnesota, Ohio, St. John’s, Toledo, Wisconsin and Xavier. Indiana will also send out an additional six golfers that will compete as individual entrants but their scores will not count towards the team score.
The Fighting Irish own a record of 23-0 versus teams in the field so far during the 2004-05 campaign. Notre Dame is currently ranked 45th according to golfstat.com, while Big Ten foes Wisconsin (70), Minnesota (84) and Iowa (99) will provide competition as they all rank in the top-100.
NOTRE DAME LINEUP: Teeing it up for the Irish this weekend will be sophomores Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) and Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) in the one and two positions, respectively. Junior co-captain Suzie Hayes (Dublin, Ireland/Loreto College) is in the three spot, while senior Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) is fourth. Completing the lineup for the Irish will be juniors Sarah Bassett (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark) and Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep). Brophy, a co-captain, leads the team with a 75.83 stroke average during the 2004-05 season, while Nakazaki is second with a 76.30 average and a team-leading 76.83 average so far during the spring campaign. The Fighting Irish own a team average of 304.93 for the season.
IRISH THOUGHTS: Irish head coach Debby King gives her thoughts about the Indiana Invitational and the season to this point.
Debby King – Head Coach
Expectations heading into the Indiana Invitational …
“I would consider this a medium field strength wise. We are favored and we should plan on winning this event. Just like we did at St. Croix we will set personal goals based on last year’s team score at this tournament.”
On the team’s preparation …
“We’ve been working on the nine-hole course here on campus for qualifying since the Warren (golf course) just opened again. We’ve also done some work at the driving ranges but our main focus right now is just to get into playing mode and being on the course has helped us do that.”
On playing closer to home again …
“We’ll definitely feel at home. Nothing should feel foreign.”
On playing in four tournaments during the month of April …
“We should be ready. I gave them Easter off to refresh and get set mentally. We will be going non-stop for the next month. That will be good for us to play consecutively especially if we can get on a roll.”
LAST TIME OUT: The Fighting Irish claimed their third team title of the 2004-05 campaign with a victory over the eight-team field at the St. Croix Collegiate Classic in the U.S. Virgin Islands on March 11-13. Notre Dame fired a 55-over par 919 (307-309-303) to capture the win by 35 strokes over runner-up Xavier. Sophomore Stacy Brown highlighted the field for the Fighting Irish as she registered her first collegiate medalist finish with a 12-over par 228 (75-79-74). Brown’s classmate Noriko Nakazaki was one shot in back to place second. Four other Irish golfers recorded top-10 finishes as senior Karen Lotta, who was playing as an individual entrant, carded a 230 to place third and junior Suzie Hayes, also playing as an individual, finished sixth with a 234. Freshman Jane Lee and individual entrant Sarah Bassett, a junior, each fired 19-over par 235’s to tie for seventh.
NEXT UP FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame will return to the course on April 9th and 10th when they travel to West Lafayette, Ind. to take part in the Lady Boilermaker Invitational.