March 11, 2005
ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands – A week in the warmth and sunshine of the Virgin Islands has produced a solid performance in the first round of the St. Croix Collegiate Classic as the Notre Dame women’s golf team currently resides in first place after Friday’s opening 18 holes of play at the par 72, 6,020 Carambola Golf Club. The Irish, who have been practicing on the islands since Sunday, fired a 307 (+19) to pace the eight-team field, while junior co-captain Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) and sophomore Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) tallied three-over par 75s to lead the field of golfers.
Fighting Irish junior Lauren Gebauer, (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) playing for the first time this spring, fired a six-over par 78 playing under the sun and cloudless skies on Friday morning. Sophomore Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) carded a 79 and freshman Jane Lee (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula) struggled as she posted a nine-over par 81 to round out the scoring team for Notre Dame. Under the tournament format, each team’s top-four scores for each round are counted towards the overall team score.
“It’s pretty neat to be in first place and not play our best golf,” stated Irish head coach Debby King, whose team is playing in its second event this spring. “It’s the kind of course where we could break 300. I think we fine-tuned our game today to break 300 tomorrow.”
Notre Dame also has five team members playing as individual entrants in the event. Junior co-captain Suzie Hayes (Dublin, Ireland/Loretto College) led the charge for the Irish individuals with a five-over par 77, while classmate Sarah Bassett (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark) was one shot in back with a 78 in her first competition of the spring. Also making their spring debuts were senior Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) and freshman Alejandra Diaz-Calderon (Guadalajara, Mexico/American), who fired a 79 and 80, respectively. Senior Casey Rotella (Keswick, Va./Monticello) completed the Irish entrants with an 85.
“It was a big improvement for Alejandra (Diaz-Calderon),” commented King following play on Friday. “She has been working on her swing all winter and she was close to shooting 75 today but she had a couple of bad holes. Suzie (Hayes) also did a good job today and finished low.”
The field, which also includes Barry, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Marshall, Texas Pan-American, Wofford and Xavier, will embark on a snorkeling trip this afternoon as part of the festivities surrounding the tournament, which is hosted by Xavier University.
The second round of play will begin on Saturday with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. The third and final round will take place on Sunday with a shotgun start also at 7:30 a.m. Results will be available on the Xavier University athletics web site at athletics.xu.edu. For additional information please log on to und.com or call the Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.
St. Croix Collegiate Classic (Carambola Golf Club – St. Croix, Virgin Islands, Par 72, 6,020-yards)
NOTRE DAME Scores (18-hole totals):
(Scoring team): Katie Brophy 75, Stacy Brown 75, Lauren Gebauer 78, Noriko Nakazaki 79, Jane Lee 81.
(Individuals): Suzie Hayes 77, Sarah Bassett 78, Karen Lotta 79, Alejandra Diaz-Calderon 80, Casey Rotella 85.
— ND –