April 26, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team’s historic 2003-04 season was extended Monday afternoon when the Irish received an at-large berth to the 2004 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships. Notre Dame will be making an appearance in the NCAAs for the first time in the 16-year history of the program. The Irish will be the No. 19 seed in the Central Regional, hosted by Illinois State, May 6-8. The regional will be played at the University Golf Course in Normal, Ill.
The NCAA Women’s Golf Championships consist of three regionals (East, Central, West) with each having 21 teams and three additional individuals participating in a 54-hole tournament (18 holes each day). The top eight teams from each regional, along with two additional individuals, will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 18-21. Auburn University will host the NCAA finals at the Grand National Lake Course in Opelika, Ala.
Notre Dame earned this significant program achievement on the strength of a school-record four tournament wins in ’03-04, including the Irish’s most recent victory at the BIG EAST Championship this past weekend, winning their second consecutive league title. Further solidifying this season as the best in program history, Notre Dame finished the regular season with a scoring average of 308.58, a program record and almost eight strokes better than the previous mark (316.29) set in 2002-03.
Third-year head coach Debby King knows the magnitude of her team’s accomplishment.
“I’m very exited about marking another day as part of the history of Notre Dame women’s golf,” said King. “I’m proud to have earned our way into the tournament. We didn’t think we would be at this point for another two years, so it’s great to be ahead of schedule. It can be scary when you look at the field we will face, but I know we can make a strong showing since we have beaten at least five of the teams at some point in the past.”
One of the team’s top players, sophomore Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep), echoes her coach’s sentiments regarding the excitement surrounding Notre Dame’s selection. Brophy also is ready for the chance to compete at the NCAAs.
“This is very exciting,” said Brophy. “We’re very proud to be playing in the NCAAs for the first time in school history. We’re looking forward to representing Notre Dame and playing our best at the regional.”
King will finalize her lineup later this week and a detailed preview of the Central Regional will be available, including notes on the Irish five, at www.und.com at that time.
— ND —
Central Regional Teams: 1. Vanderbilt; 2. New Mexico; 3. Arizona; 4. USC; 5. Oklahoma; 6. Michigan State; 7. Tulsa; 8. Missouri; 9. TCU; 10. Arkansas; 11. Texas A&M; 12. Kansas State; 13. Indiana; 14. SMU; 15. Kent State; 16. Purdue; 17. Northwestern; 18. Baylor; 19. Notre Dame; 20. Princeton; 21. Illinois State.
Central Regional Individuals: 1. Malinda Johnson (Wisconsin); 2. Linda Svensson (Arkansas-Little Rock); 3. Laura Olin (Michigan).