May 8, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team shot a 35-over par 323 in 2010 NCAA Central Regional third round action at the Otter Creek Golf Course (par 72/6,416 yards) on Saturday afternoon to finish 17th. Sophomore Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo./Littleton) provided the final round drama for the Irish, as she turned in back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes to move to two-over par on the day and threaten to take one of the Central Regional’s two individual qualifying positions for the NCAA championship.
After the consecutive birdies, Huffer notched a par at the 15th and bogeyed the 16th to stand at three-over par on the day and tied with Denver’s Kimberly Kim for the last qualifying spot. A par on 17 maintained the status quo, but Huffer got in trouble on the 18th when her second shot found the rough on the left side of the fairway. Her approach hit the green, but bounced into the rough beyond the hole and the sophomore was unable to get up-and-down in order to force a playoff. Huffer finished with a five-over par 77 on the day and at 15-over par for the tournament to tie for 16th.
Huffer’s 16th-place showing marks the best finish by an Irish golfer in NCAA play, besting Noriko Nakazaki’s 2007 tie for 18th. In two seasons of regional play, Huffer has broken 80 five out of a possible six times.
Junior Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) carded an 80 for Notre Dame’s second best score of the day. She finished tied for 65th at 25-over par (241). Her final day of play included a birdie on the 11th, eight pars and nine bogeys.
Sophomore Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier Prep) and senior Julie Kim (Bayside, N.Y./Bayside) turned in final round 83s to round out the Notre Dame scoring. Allare’s final round included seven pars and 11 bogeys. She finished at 33-over par (249) to tie for 85th. Kim’s final round with the Irish was highlighted by a birdie on the third hole and an impressive up-and-down at the 17th. She also had eight pars, six bogeys and three doubles. At 37-over par (253) for the tournament, Kim finished tied for 96th.
Senior Annie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) was disqualified midway through her final round with the Irish. On Sunday afternoon, she will graduate as one of the program’s all-time leaders in stroke average, rounds played, rounds counted and tournaments won.
USC captured the 2010 NCAA Central Regional title by firing a 43-over par 907 in the three days of action. Arizona State finished second at 51-over par. Kent State’s Martina Gavier took the 2010 NCAA Central Regional individual title with a three-over par (219) total.By virtue of also finishing in the top-eight, Purdue, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Oregon and Kent State all join USC and Arizona State in advancing to the NCAA Championship, along with Georgia’s Marta Silva Zamora and Denver’s Kim. The NCAA Div. I Women’s Golf Championship will be held May 18-21 at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C.