March 9, 2008
RIO VERDE, Ariz. – The No. 20 Notre Dame women’s golf team made it a clean sweep at the Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational by winning the team title with a three-round, 11-over par score of 875 (294-290-291) and freshman So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep) captured medalist honors with a four-under par 212. This marked a program-record tying fourth team title for the Fighting Irish during the 2007-08 season. For Park, it was the second win of her rookie campaign.
The Irish entered Sunday’s third and final round with a seven-shot lead over Minnesota. Texas Tech finished second out of the 18-team field that competed at the Rio Verde Country Club’s par 72, 6,313-yard Quail Run Course with an 893. Minnesota placed third with an 894, while Arkansas-Little Rock (908) and Eastern Michigan (909) rounded out the top five. Notre Dame’s second-round total of 290 (+2) on Saturday was the top team round of the three-day event.
“I feel like we all played well,” said Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt. “The opportunity to score low at the golf course was there and we took advantage of that. We capitalized when we needed to and we were able to lower our scoring average. I think it’ll give us a confidence boost for the rest of the season.”
Park began play on Sunday with a slim one-shot lead over Arkansas-Little Rock’s Mallory Fraiche. The Notre Dame freshman carded the tournament’s top round on the day with a two-under par 70, which matched her second-round score from Saturday, to hold on and win the crown with a season-best score of 212 (72-70-70).
The Fighting Irish made it a one-two finish as sophomore Annie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) tied a career-best score with an even-par 216 (71-73-72). The second-place result marked Brophy’s top collegiate finish, while her first-round tally of 71 (-1) matched the top 18-hole score of her Notre Dame career.
In all, Notre Dame placed three golfers in the top six of the 106-golfer field. Kristin Wetzel (Middletown, N.Y./Hilton Head Prep) finished sixth with a 54-hole total of 221 (74-72-75). Both the placing and five-over par final score were career-best figures for the sophomore.
Junior co-captain captain Lisa Maunu (St. Thomas, Ontario/Parkside Collegiate Institute) shot a two-over par 74 on Sunday to conclude the event with a 14-over par 230 (81-75-74) and among a five-way for 26th. Notre Dame freshman Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) fired a three-round total of 232 (77-76-79) and finished in a tie for 33rd to complete the Irish scoring lineup.
Fighting Irish sophomore Julie Kim (Bayside, N.Y./Bayside) competed as an individual entrant and registered a 237 (77-80-80). This was the first event of the 2007-08 campaign for Kim.
This season signifies the third time in program history that Notre Dame has won four tournaments in a single campaign. The Irish, who captured three titles during the first semester of play, were victorious four times during both the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons
Full results of the Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational are available at Golfstat.com and www.wmubroncos.com. The Fighting Irish return to the course on March 17-19 at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas. The tournament will be played at the University Golf Club.
Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational
Rio Verde Country Club – Quail Run Course – Rio Verde, Ariz., Par 72, 6,313 yards
Final Team Scores (54-hole totals): 1. Notre Dame 875 (294-290-291), 2. Texas Tech 893 (291-306-296), 3. Minnesota 894 (300-291-303), 4. Arkansas-Little Rock 908 (298-304-306), 5. Eastern Michigan 909 (303-309-297), 6t. Western Michigan 916 (305-301-310), 6t. Northern Arizona 916 (305-300-311), 8. Wisconsin 917 (308-305-304), 9t. Ball State 918 (307-304-307), 9t. Illinois State 918 (300-310-308), 11. Missouri State 924 (311-299-314), 12. Toledo 926 (305-311-310), 13. Cincinnati 938 (311-310-317), 14. Bowling Green 941 (316-310-315), 15t. Bradley 945 (309-308-328), 15t. Southern Illinois 945 (318-313-314), 17. Xavier 953 (320-312-321), 18. Ohio 981 (328-329-324)
Top-5 Golfers (of 106): 1. So-Hyun Park (Notre Dame) 212 (72-70-70), 2. Annie Brophy (Notre Dame) 216 (71-73-72), 3t. Mary Narsizi (Minnesota) 219 (73-74-72), 3t. Sara Wilkstrom (Arkansas-Little Rock) 219 (71-74-74), 5. Laura Bavaird (Western Michigan) 220 (73-71-76)
Notre Dame Scores: 1. So-Hyun Park 212 (72-70-70), 2. Annie Brophy 216 (71-73-72), 6. Kristin Wetzel 221 (74-72-75), 26t. Lisa Maunu 230 (81-75-74), 33t. Katie Conway 232 (77-76-79), 58t. Julie Kim 237 (77-80-80)*
* – competed as an individual entrant