April 1, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team will head to Bloomington, Ind., this weekend, April 3-4, with hopes of having its top outing of the spring at the Indiana Invitational. After a record-setting fall that was the best semester in program history, the Irish have struggled thus far in the spring portion of their 2003-04 campaign. Notre Dame opened the spring in the U.S. Virgin Islands where they finished in a tie for fifth (14 teams) at the St. Croix Collegiate Classic (March 12-14), shooting 959 (316-327-316). In their second event of the semester, the Baylor/Tapatio Springs Shootout, the Irish turned in a team total of 961 (319-319-323) and came in 13th (19 teams). Despite those performances, Notre Dame still has a team scoring average of 307.92, which is a school record and more than eight strokes better than the previous mark set in 2002-03 (316.29). Notre Dame is ranked 58th in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index ratings and is looking to regain its fall form in order to secure the program’s first-ever berth in the NCAA Championships.
The Tournament: The Indiana Invitational will be a two-day, 54-hole tournament played at the par-74, 6,034-yard Indiana University Golf Course. Team scoring for the event will be calculated using the “six-count-four” format where each team’s scoring lineup consists of six players and the four lowest scores will count toward the team total. The IU Invite consists of 36 holes on day one of the tournament, while the final 18 holes will be played on the second day. The tournament will commence each day with a shotgun start, 8:00 (EST) on Saturday and 8:30 (EST) on Sunday.
The Teams: The Indiana Invitational features a 15-team field that includes Arkansas-Little Rock, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Indiana, Iowa, Marshall, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesotoa, Missouri, Ohio University, Notre Dame, Toledo and Wisconsin. Notre Dame knows the strength of this field first-hand as Indiana and Missouri were two of the teams the Irish faced in their most recent outing at Baylor; the Hoosiers (297-294-305–896) won the tourney by 13 strokes over the second-place Tigers (306-300-303–909).
History At IU: Notre Dame has played in the Indiana Invitational in each of the past seven years and in 14 of the prior 15 seasons in program history. Both the Irish’s low 54-hole score and top finish in the tourney came in 1998 as the team shot a 953 to take sixth in the 15-team field. Notre Dame finished seventh among 11 teams in last year’s IU Invite, turning in rounds of 327, 318 and 318 for a 54-hole score of 963.
Irish Lineup: Third-year Notre Dame head coach Debby King’s lineup will include four players that played in both of the previous two spring events as well as one golfer making her first appearance for the Irish since September 27-28, at the 2003 Notre Dame Invitational. Freshman Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates), junior Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) and sophomores Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) and Sarah Bassett (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark) each took part in the St. Croix Classic and Baylor/Tapatio Shootout. Nakazaki leads the team in scoring both for the season and this semester with marks of 75.83 (24 rounds) and 78.67 (six rounds), respectively. The other two members of this weekend’s travel party is senior co-captain Rebecca Rogers (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial) and freshman Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands). Rogers will be playing for the first time since taking part in the ND Invite as an individual this fall and is a member of the scoring lineup for the first time since last season at the 2003 Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational (March 10-11). Brown golfed in the U.S. Virgin Islands, shooting a 246 (80-83-83) for 54 holes.
Last Tournament: Nakazaki paced Notre Dame at the Baylor/Tapatio Springs Shootout in Boerne, Texas. The rookie tied for 15th by carding scores of 71, 80 and 81 for a three-round total of 232. Next for the Irish was Lotta with a 239 (81-81-77), tying her for 45th, followed by Brophy’s mark of 243 (81-77-85).
Tournament Results: Results from the Indiana Invitational will be available on the Notre Dame website at www.und.com following play on each day of the tournament.
Next For The Irish: After the Indiana Invitational, Notre Dame will take next weekend off for the Easter holiday and will not be in action again until Saturday-Sunday, April 17-18, at the Lady Boilermaker Invitational.
– ND –