Junior Noriko Nakazaki and the Fighting Irish begin their pursuit of a third straight NCAA bid this weekend at the Notre Dame Invitational.

Notre Dame Leads Indiana Invitational After First Round

April 2, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A wet course and windy conditions were the story of the day as the Notre Dame women’s golf team jumped out to a five-stroke lead after carding a first round total of 312 (+24) at the Indiana Invitational on Saturday afternoon. Due to the poor conditions at the par 72, 6,142-yard Indiana University Golf Club, the tournament has been reduced to a 36-hole event with the final round taking place on Sunday. Irish sophomore Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) will take a three-shot lead into Sunday’s play as she fired a one-under par 71 during the first 18-holes of competition. That score tied her best round of the season, which was established in the final round of the St. Croix Collegiate Classic, the Irish’s last competition prior to the Indiana Invitational.

Notre Dame’s Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) overcame recent struggles to post a four-over par 76 on the day. The junior co-captain and mainstay in the Irish lineup barely made the team cut for the trip yet responded with a solid performance on Saturday to find herself in fourth-place. Senior Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) registered an eight-over par 80 to currently reside in tie for 12th-place in her first action as a member of the scoring team this spring.

Sophomore Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) carded a 13-over par 85 and junior Sarah Bassett (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark) shot a 92 to reside in ties at 58th and 99th-places, respectively for the Irish.

“We did not have a good round,” stated Irish head coach Debby King. “I wasn’t pleased with how we did except for Noriko. She had an awesome round especially with the conditions. The wind was horrendous but putting was our biggest fault. We’d hit the ball pretty well but they (the Notre Dame golfers) all felt that they had too many putts. We hope to do better tomorrow and bring home the trophy.”

The Fighting Irish, who were shorthanded as junior co-captain Suzie Hayes (Dublin, Ireland/Loreto College) had to withdraw from competition due to a hand injury, are battling 18 other teams and have Grand Valley State (317) in their rearview mirror heading into the final round of play.

“Losing Suzie (Hayes) really hurt us because we probably would have counted her score,” said King. “She was only five-over (par) when she had to withdraw.”

Nakazaki is looking to capture her first-ever collegiate medalist finish and will have to fend off Toledo’s Natalie Storck (74) to do so. If Notre Dame can hold onto its lead it will mark the team’s second consecutive victory after winning the St. Croix Collegiate Classic on March 13 and it would be the Irish’s fourth title of the 2004-05 campaign.

The 19-team field will take to the course on Sunday for the final round of action, which gets underway with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m (EST). Live stats and results will be posted on the Indiana University web site at iuhoosiers.com. For additional information please log on to und.com or call the Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.

Indiana Invitational (Indiana University Golf Club. – Bloomington, Ind., Par 72, 6,142-yards)

Top-8 Team Scores (18-hole totals): 1. Notre Dame 312, 2. Grand Valley State 317, 3. Toledo 322, 4. Ohio U. 323, 5. Wisconsin 324, 6t. Xavier 325, 6t. Marshall 325, 8. Indiana 327.

Top-4 Golfers (18-hole totals): 1. Noriko Nakazaki (Notre Dame) 71, 2. Natalie Storck (Toledo) 74, 3. Enid Gage (Grand Valley State) 75, 4. Katie Brophy (Notre Dame) 76.

Other Notre Dame Scores (18-hole totals): 12t. Karen Lotta 80, 58t. Stacy Brown 85, 99t. Sarah Bassett 92, Suzie Hayes (WD).

— ND –