April 22, 2008
BATAVIA, Ohio – For the third time in program history, the Notre Dame women’s golf team won the BIG EAST Championship. The Fighting Irish posted a three-round score off 899 (296-301-302) at the par 72, 6,080-yard Elks Run Golf Club to claim the conference title by nine shots over two-time defending champion Louisville. Notre Dame made it a clean sweep as sophomore Annie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) took home medalist honors with a six-over par 222 (74-74-74).
Notre Dame entered the third and final round on Tuesday with a nine-shot lead over Louisville. The Irish and Cardinals both carded identical 302 (+14) scores on the day. Cincinnati finished third with a 920 and St. John’s took fourth with a final tally of 933. Georgetown (937), South Florida (953) and Rutgers (1004) rounded out the field in order of finish.
“Losing in a playoff last year (at the BIG EAST tournament) was very disheartening because we played so well,” said Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt. “Everything they’ve done this year has been a momentum builder for this week. They had pressure on them because they were the team to beat coming in. I was just really proud of them because they really hung in there. It was a good team effort with the way the scoring worked out. They all played a role and we needed all of them to show up and they did.”
The medalist finish for Brophy was her first career victory and the first time a Notre Dame women’s golfer has ever won the BIG EAST title outright. Former Irish golfers Katie Brophy, Annie’s younger sister, and Karen Lotta took home co-medalist finishes in 2003 and 2005, respectively. Notre Dame freshman So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep) was runner-up to her teammate by notching a 224 (74-75-75).
“To win conference as a team is great because we’ve worked really hard for this,” said Brophy. “As an individual, it also feels great. We all played really hard. We played one hole at a time. I know that sounds clichÃƒÂ©, but it’s true.”
Earning all-BIG EAST honors along with Brophy and Park for the Irish was junior co-captain Lisa Maunu (St. Thomas, Ontario/Parkside Collegiate Institute) and sophomore Kristin Wetzel (Middletown, N.Y./Hilton Head Prep). Both Maunu (73-76-78) and Wetzel (75-76-76) finished tied for fourth among the 35-golfer field with 11-over par 227 totals.
Freshman Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) completed the Notre Dame lineup by placing in a tie for 15th with a 17-over 233 (79-77-77).
This is the sixth conference title for Holt, who is in her second season with the Fighting Irish. Holt won five Conference USA championships at South Florida. This season, she has guided Notre Dame to a program-record five victories in 10 tournaments. With the individual victory, Brophy became the third Irish golfer to notch a win this season, joining Park, who has two medalist finishes, and Maunu.
The other BIG EAST team crowns for Notre Dame came in 2003 and 2004. This is the first title for the Fighting Irish since the BIG EAST expansion in 2006. The Irish have also qualified for the 2008 NCAA Tournament with the league win. This marked the first season that the BIG EAST women’s champion has been awarded an automatic berth into the NCAAs. Notre Dame will be playing in the program’s third NCAA Championship and the first since 2005.
Full results of the BIG EAST Championship are available at bigeast.org.
The Fighting Irish will find out where they will play next when selections for the 2008 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship are announced on Monday, April 28. The 63-team field, plus nine individuals on non-qualifying teams, are divided among three regional sites (Athens, Ga., Austin, Texas, Lincoln, Calif.). The NCAA Regionals will take place May 8-10 and the finals will be held May 20-23 in Albuquerque, N.M.
2008 BIG EAST Women’s Golf Championship
Elks Run Golf Club
Batavia, Ohio, Par 72, 6,080 yards
Final Team Scores (54-hole totals): 1. Notre Dame 899 (296-301-302), 2. Louisville 908 (302-304-302), 3. Cincinnati 920 (306-310-304), 4. St. John’s 933 (315-302-316), 5. Georgetown 937 (308-315-314), 6. South Florida 953 (319-319-315), 7. Rutgers 1004 (341-330-333)
Top-10 Golfers (of 35) (All-BIG EAST): 1. Annie Brophy (Notre Dame) 222 (74-74-74), 2. So-Hyun Park (Notre Dame) 224 (74-75-75), 3. Cindy LaCrosse (Louisville) 225 (74-77-74), 4t. Lisa Maunu (Notre Dame) 227 (73-76-78), 4t. Kristin Wetzel (Notre Dame) 227 (75-76-76), 6t. Sara Maude-Juneau (Louisville) 228 (76-72-80), 6t. Brittany Lambertson (St. John’s) 228 (74-74-80), 8t. Laura Anderson (Louisville) 229 (76-79-74), 8t. Chelsea Curtis (Georgetown) 229 (76-74-79), 10t. Renee Coultier (St. John’s) 231 (81-77-73), 10t. Carly Hunt (Georgetown) 231 (78-75-78)