March 11, 2003
West Springs, Fla. – Something clicked for Notre Dame freshman golfer Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash.) at the Spalding/Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational at the Tuscawilla Country Club outside of Orlando, Fla.
All the freshman did in her second tournament of the spring for Notre Dame was shoot rounds of 73 on Monday and 74 today for a three-over par 147 to win her first collegiate event by one stroke over a pair of golfers from Penn State. She becomes the first Irish golfer to take medalist honors since teammate Rebecca Rogers won the Notre Dame Invitational in the fall of 2000. As a team, Notre Dame finished eighth in the 13-team tournament.
“Katie told me right before the start of today’s round that she felt like ‘something just clicked,'” said Irish women’s golf coach Debby King.
“She had a great swing the last two days. It was fluid and aggressive.”
Brophy says it was her putting that clicked in the tournament that saw Monday’s morning round cancelled due to water on the golf course. The teams were able to play the afternoon round.
“The thing that clicked for me was my putting. I didn’t putt very well in the fall and that’s what I was known for in high school. Everything dropped for me the last two days. I got my confidence back,” explains Brophy.
Her day didn’t get off to a great start as she bogeyed three of the first four holes but battled back to get to even par for the day after 14 holes. Bogeys at 15 and 16 could have ruined the freshman’s day, but they didn’t.
“The bogeys on 15 and 16 made me mad. I just said to myself, ‘Katie just par the last two holes'” said Brophy. And she did.
“I didn’t know exactly where I was going into 18. I just wanted to par it. I got near the green and put my second shot about 12-feet away. I knew I had made those before and I just said to myself, ‘just do it,’ and then I stood over it for awhile to focus,” explained Brophy of her winning shot.
Brophy won by one shot over Penn State’s Katie Futcher (74-74-148) and Cynthia Skilton (78-70-148). Five golfers were three strokes back at six-over par 150.
Penn State took the team title as the Nittany Lions led from start to finish with a 31-over par 607 (309-298). The University of Memphis was second, one stroke behind after rounds of 311 and 297 gave the Tigers a 608 total. The host school, Rollins College, finished third with a 615 (313-302). The Irish were eighth after starting the day tied for fourth. Notre Dame shot rounds of 314 and 317 for a 631, 24 strokes behind Penn State.
Individually for the Irish, sophomore Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif.) and freshman Lauren Gebauer (Columbus, Ohio) tied for 25th at 12-over par 156. Both golfers shot back-to-back rounds of 78.
Freshman Suzie Hayes (Dublin, Ireland) tied for 27th, one stroke back with a 157. Hayes shot 76-81 for a 157.
Senior Terri Taibl (Elm Grove, Wis.) finished in a three-way tie for 37th with a 160 (80-80) and was followed by Sarah Bassett (Fr., Spokane, Wash.) at 161 (79-82).
Rounding out the Irish lineup were Lauren Barbir (Fr., Montgomery, Texas) in 49th with a 164 (83-81), junior Rebecca Rogers (Alpharetta, Ga.) tied for 52nd with a 165 (82-83) and Shannon Byrne (Jr., Arlington Heights, Ill.) tied for 56th with a 167 (84-83).
The Irish are next in action on Thursday and Friday, March 13-14 when they compete in the annual Northern Illinois Snowbird Invitational at the Pebble Creek Country Club in Tampa, Fla. Notre Dame was second in the 22-team tournament last spring. Action is scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m. each morning.
FINAL TEAM RESULTS (36-hole totals): 1. Penn State 309-298-607; 2. University of Memphis 311-297-608; 3. Rollins College 313-302-615; 4. James Madison 317-306-623; 5. Illinois State 318-309-627; 6. Southern Illinois 319-310-629; 7. Minnesota 314-316-630; 8. Notre Dame 314-317-631; 9. Florida Southern 320-321-641; 10. William & Mary 327-315-642; 11. Georgetown 332-316-648; 12. Stetson 334-319-653; 13. Northern Illinois 344-350-694.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 75): 1. Katie Brophy (Notre Dame) 73-74-147; t2. Katie Futcher (Penn State) 74-74-148; Cynthia Skilton (Penn State) 78-70-148; t4. Jennifer Jaszek (Memphis) 78-72-150; Pamela Faggans (Florida Southern) 74-76-150; Connie Isler (Georgetown) 76-74-150; Jessica Lewis (James Madison) 75-75-150; Freddie Seeholzer (Rollins) 79-71-150; t9. Samantha Richdale (Illinois State) 78-73-151; Marianne Ruud (Memphis) 73-78-151.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (of 75): 1. Katie Brophy 73-74-147; t25. Karen Lotta 78-78-156; * Lauren Gebauer 78-78-156; t27. * Suzie Hayes 76-81-157; t37. * Terri Taibl 80-80-160; t40. Sarah Basssett 79-82-161; t49. * Lauren Barbir 83-81-164; t52. Rebecca Rogers 82-83-165; t56. Shannon Byrne 84-83-167.