Lisa Maunu shot a 75 in her second round of play at the NCAA Central Regional.

Irish Set For NCAA Central Regional

May 4, 2009



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The Notre Dame women’s golf team will play in the NCAA Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio on May 7-9. Each of the three days will consist of one 18-hole round of play. With a top-eight finish at the Regional, the Irish would advance to the NCAA Finals for the first time in program history.

Notre Dame is one of 21 teams in the Central Regional, which will be played on the Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio State University will serve as the host of the Central Regional.

The NCAA Tournament field is comprised of 63 teams, plus nine individuals on non-qualifying teams, divided among the three regional sites (Gainesville, Fla., Tempe, Ariz. and Columbus, Ohio). The top eight teams and the top-two golfers from non-advancing teams at each of the three regional sites will advance to the NCAA Finals. The Finals will take place on May 19-22 at the Caves Valley Golf Course in Owings Mills, Md. and will be hosted by Georgetown.

2009 marks Notre Dame’s fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, with the Irish making their first two NCAA appearances in 2004 and 2005. The Irish received at-large berths to the Central Regional both of those years, finishing 17th and 18th, respectively.

Last season, the Irish made their third NCAA Tournament appearance after receiving an automatic bid by virtue of winning the 2008 BIG EAST Championship. They went on to finish 16th at the 2008 NCAA Central Regional, played in Austin, Texas.

Notre Dame’s probable lineup includes senior captain Lisa Maunu (St. Thomas, Ontario/Parkside Collegiate Institute), juniors Annie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) and Julie Kim (Bayside, N.Y./Bayside), sophomore So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep) and freshman Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo./Littleton HS).

Following The Irish At The Central Regional
Daily recaps will be posted at Live scoring of the Central Regional will be available through

The Course
The 2009 NCAA Central Regional, hosted by the Ohio State University, will be played on the par-72/6,246-yard Scarlet Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio. The last NCAA women’s event held there was the 2006 championship, which marked the official re-opening of the Scarlet Course after Jack Nicklaus’ redesign was completed.

The NCAA Central Regional
The Irish join 20 other teams and three individuals in comprising the field for the NCAA Central Regional. Amongst the 21 teams, there are 11 conference champions including Oklahoma State (Big 12), Purdue (Big Ten), Wake Forest (ACC), Louisville (BIG EAST), Kent State (Mid-American), New Mexico (Mountain West), Georgia State (Colonial Athletic Assoc.), Murray State (Ohio Valley), Illinois State (Missouri Valley), Harvard (Ivy) and Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeastern) and 14 teams ranked in the top-40.

For the season, Notre Dame holds an 11-20 head-to-head record against the 20 other teams that will play in the central regional. Out of that group, the Irish have played Wake Forest (0-4), Michigan State (0-4) and Ohio State (2-2) the most. Notre Dame’s best record against a team in the field is a 3-0 mark posted against 35th-ranked NC State.

Central Regional Field

1. UCLA (2)2. Oklahoma State (5)3. Purdue (9)4. Wake Forest (11)5. Louisville (15)6. Kent State (17)7. Michigan State (19)8. Ohio State (24)9. Stanford (26)10. New Mexico (28)11. Georgia State (33)12. Notre Dame (32) 13. NC State (35)14. Washington (40)15. Kentucky (42)16. Chattanooga (48)17. Michigan (53)18. Murray State (129)19. Illinois State (85)20. Harvard (69)21. Fairleigh Dickinson (/)
Golfstat Rankings in parentheses(as of 4.29.09)

Irish At The NCAAs
As a team, the Irish are making thier fourth appearance in the NCAA Central Regional. In 2004, Notre Dame finished 17th at Illinois State’s University Golf Course in Normal, Illinois. Notre Dame’s best finisher that year was Noriko Nakazaki, who finished tied for 36th. The Irish made their second consecutive Central Regional appearance in 2005 in Lubbock, Texas with Texas Tech serving as the host. The Irish went on to finish in 18th, as they were once again led by Nakazaki, who finished tied for 37th.

In 2008, Notre Dame returned to the NCAAs in Susan Holt’s second season as head coach. She led the squad down to Austin, Texas where they finsihed 16th. Ending in a tie for 30th, Lisa Maunu was the best Irish finisher.

NCAA Marks
The top team round for Notre Dame in NCAA competition is a 14-over par 302, shot during the first round of the 2008 Central Regional. The round was part of a 54-hole total of 925 (+61), which ranks as the best three-round score in Notre Dame’s NCAA Tournament history. The top individual round from an Irish golfer in the NCAAs is a one-over par 72 from Noriko Nakazaki at the 2007 NCAA Central Regional, where she competed as an individual. Nakazaki’s three-round 224 (+11) is the best 54-hole mark for a Fighting Irish competitor in NCAA play.

The Last Time Out
Notre Dame finished second at the 2009 BIG EAST Championship. The three-day event was played on April 19-21 in Dade City, Fla. The team shot a final day 294 to finish at plus-23, good for second place honors at the championship. The 294 was Notre Dame’s best team score of the tournament. Louisville came in first with a plus-12 mark.

Lisa Maunu captured the individual title as she finished at minus-one for the tournament after carding a final round minus-two 70. So-Hyun Park (70-80-74) and Annie Brophy (77-73-74) also cracked the top-10 as they tied for ninth place with a plus-eight (224) mark. Other Irish highlights from the event included Park’s hole in one at the par-3 fourth in the first round.

Maunu The Medalist
Lisa Maunu captured the 2009 BIG EAST individual title, shooting a minus-one 215 mark at the three-day tournament. She finished three shots ahead of Louisville’s Sara-Maude Juneau, who came in second.

Maunu, who was celebrating her 22nd birtday on the final day of play, made an impressive charge through the back nine to claim the title with a third round minus-two 70. With eight holes left to play in round three, she was three-shots over par. But the senior captain rallied to birdie the 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 17th holes to secure the title.

With the win, Maunu became the program’s second consecutive BIG EAST medalist and the fourth overall. Notre Dame’s first medalist, Katie Brophy, was a co-medlaist as a freshman at the 2003 tournament. Karen Lotta did the same at the 2005 event during her senior campaign. Last year Annie Brophy, the younger sister of Katie, captured the title as a sophomore, becoming Notre Dame’s first outright BIG EAST Champion.

2009 BIG EAST Honors
Becca Huffer was recently named the 2009 BIG EAST women’s golf Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Lisa Maunu, Annie Brophy and sophomore So-Hyun Park joined Huffer as members of the 2009 All-BIG EAST team.

In previous seasons, the BIG EAST honored an All-Tournament team based on top-10 finishes at the conference championship tournament, but the format was switched to an All-BIG EAST team for the 2009 season. The league’s coaches voted for the Player of the Year, the Freshman of the Year and the Coach of the year, as well as for the All-BIG EAST Team. When the votes were tallied, the Irish comprised four of the 11-player all-conference team.

All told, the Irish have combined for 19 all-BIG EAST honors since the 2003 season. Noriko Nakazaki, a 2007 graduate, is the program record holder with four all-conference accolades.

UND’s All-BIG EAST Performers

Noriko Nakazaki (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)Annie Brophy (2007, 2008, 2009) Katie Brophy (2003, 2004, 2005)Karen Lotta (2003, 2004, 2005)Lisa Maunu (2007, 2008, 2009) So-Hyun Park (2008, 2009) Shannon Byrne (2003)Suzie Hayes (2003)Becca Huffer (2009) Julie Kim (2007) Kristin Wetzel (2008)
Current players listed in BOLD

Entering the 2009 NCAA Central Regional, junior Annie Brophy is one of several Irish golfers who already have NCAA experience.



Ohio Connections
The Irish have played in Ohio on several occasions. Most recently, the Irish played the Elks Run Golf Club in Batavia, Ohio. They did so on April 20-22, 2008, capturing the 2008 BIG EAST title. Notre Dame has also played tournaments at the Gray and Scarlet Courses in Columbus, Ohio. All-time, six Notre Dame players have hailed from the Buckeye State including Roberta Bryer, Panora Fecko, Marty Anne Hall, Jennifer Lynch, Denise Paulin and most recently Lauren Gebauer, who played for the Irish from 2003-06. Bryer, a 1991 Notre Dame graduate, served as a team captain for the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons. Other Irish connections to the Buckeye state include head coach Susan Holt, who is a 1988 graduate of the Ohio State University, where she played on the women’s golf team that won Big Ten Championships and made NCAA tournamnet appearances in 1985 and 1988. Before attending Ohio State, Holt graduated from Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio.

Next Up
The top eight teams from each of the three regional sites of Gainesville, Fla., Tempe, Ariz. and Columbus, Ohio will advance to the NCAA Championship, taking place May 19-22 in Owings Mills, Md. The top-two golfers from non-qualifying teams will also advance to the NCAA Championship.

NCAA Experience
As the Irish gear up for the 2009 NCAA Central Regional, they will have the experience of last season’s Central Regional appearance to build upon. Lisa Maunu, So-Hyun Park, and Annie Brophy, three of 2009’s five expected regional starters, played at the 2008 NCAA Central Regional. Maunu carded the lowest round (73/1st Rd) and lowest total score (225/+9) of the group. In addition, head coach Susan Holt guided Noriko Nakazaki to the 2007 Central Regional as an individual entrant for the Irish. Holt also led a team and/or individual to 11 NCAA Regional appearances and trips to the NCAA Finals in 2001 and 2002 while at the University of South Florida.