Sept. 28, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team will try to capture its third straight victory with a trip to the Wolverine Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich. this weekend. The 54-hole event will be held at the par 71, 6,098 yard U-M Golf Course on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30. Notre Dame enters the tournament ranked 11th according to Golfstat. That marks the highest ranking in program history.
FIELD: The University of Michigan will serve as the host for the two-day event. Notre Dame headlines the field of 10 teams as the Irish enter ranked 11th nationally in the latest Golfstat.com rankings. Instate rival Indiana is 40th, while the host Wolverines are 62nd. The rest of the field is comprised of (Golfstat rankings in parenthesis): Tulsa (45), Eastern Michigan (58), Cincinnati (70), SMU (73), Wisconsin (84), Bradley (119) and Toledo (122).
Notre Dame has only faced one team in the field so far this season. The Irish topped BIG EAST foe Cincinnati at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup.
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. Saturday will feature 36 holes of play beginning with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m. (ET). Sunday’s third and final round will also commence with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m.
NOTRE DAME LINEUP: Freshman So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep (FL)) will begin the tournament at the No. 1 position in the Notre Dame lineup. Park is coming off a victory at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup and she leads the Irish with a 71.00 stroke average. Park possesses a top-round of 69 (-3) and a top 54-hole total of 213 (-3) this season.
Junior Lisa Maunu (St. Thomas, Ontario/Parkside Collegiate Institute) will play from the second spot for the Fighting Irish. Maunu has registered back-to-back top-10 finishes, including a victory at the Cougar Classic to open the season. She carries a 71.83 stroke average, which ranks her second on the squad behind Park. Maunu carded a school-record round of 66 (-6) at the Cougar Classic en route to winning with a program-record 54-hole total of 210 (-6).
Kristin Wetzel (Middletown, N.Y./Hilton Head Prep (SC)) will tee it up from the third position for Notre Dame. The sophomore is coming off her top collegiate performance as she fired a career-best three-round total of 223 (+7) at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup. Her second-round score of 71 (-1) was her top round at Notre Dame. Wetzel possesses a 74.67 scoring average this season.
Fellow sophomore Annie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) also has a 74.67 average and she will play from the fourth spot. Her top round this season is a one-over par 73, while her top three-round mark is a 222 (+6).
Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) completes the Fighting Irish lineup. The freshman brings a 76.17 scoring average into her third collegiate tournament. Conway’s top round of the season in a one-over par 73, while her best 54-hole total is 226 (+10).
LAST TIME OUT: Notre Dame registered its second consecutive tournament victory by topping the field of 17 at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup (Sept. 17-18). The Irish carded a 14-over par three-round score of 878 (292-290-296) to best the host Louisville Cardinals by three shots. It was a clean sweep for Notre Dame as Park collected medalist honors with a three-under par 213 at the par 72, 6,181 yard Cardinal Club.
Notre Dame carried an eight-shot lead over Louisville into the tournament’s third and final round. The Irish posted an eight-over par 296 on the last day, which held off a late-charging Louisville squad that shot a 291.
Park fired rounds of 70 and 71 to open play and entered the third round with a one-shot lead. She fired an even-par 72 to capture the victory in just her second collegiate tournament. Maunu registered another top-10 performance by posting rounds of 70, 76 and 75 for a five-over par 221 total. She concluded the event in a three-way tie for sixth.
Wetzel shot a career-best 54-hole total of 223 (+7) with rounds of 75, 71 and 77 to place in a two-way tie for 13th out of the 94-golfer field. Wetzel’s second-round score was her top collegiate round. Her classmate Brophy posted a 226 (77-73-76) as did Conway (78-75-73). They both finished as part of a four-way tie for 21st. The final-round one-over par 73 from Conway was her top round of the season.
SIZZLING START: Notre Dame has swept both the team and individual crowns during the first two tournaments of the 2007-08 season. That marks just the third time in the 20-year history of the program that the Irish have captured back-to-back team victories and the first time it has happened to open a season. A win at this weekend’s Wolverine Invitational would give the Irish three straight wins for the first time in program history.
The medalist finishes by Maunu and Park signifies just the second time in program history that Irish golfers have won back-to-back events. Notre Dame has never taken medalist honors at three straight events.
IRISH ACCOLADES: Following their back-to-back victories, the Fighting Irish were named the Golfweek national women’s team of the week on Monday, Sept. 24. That honor came one week after Maunu was tabbed as the Golf World women’s college player of the week after she established school records for a single round (66) and 54-hole total (210) in her victory at the Cougar Classic (Sept. 9-11).
IRISH THOUGHTS: Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt discusses the Wolverine Invitational and the success the Irish have had this season …
“We are going into this tournament with the same mindset of playing the golf course. We’ll try to figure out ways on having the golfers play to their strength to produce good results. The rest will take care of itself.”
“Our team is working really hard and they have very well-defined goals. They are certainly on their way to meeting them and it’s encouraging because they are attainable. We may have aimed too low. They are ready to play again this weekend and have an opportunity to win another tournament.”
RESULTS: Live scoring of the Wolverine Invitational is available through Golfstat.com. To access the site go to http://www.golfstatresults.com. Full results will also be posted at mgoblue.com.
NEXT UP: Notre Dame returns to action at the Lady Paladin Invitational in Greenville, S.C. The tournament, which is hosted by Furman University, will take place Oct. 19-21.