April 6, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A trip to Miami Lakes, Fla. for the Canes & Cards Classic awaits the No. 25 Notre Dame women’s golf team as it heads towards the final stretch run of the season. The 54-hole event will take place April 7-8 at the par 72, 6,210-yard Don Shula Golf Resort. This will mark the final tournament for the Fighting Irish before heading to the BIG EAST Championship.
TOURNAMENT FORMAT: Each team’s lineup will be comprised of five golfers with the lowest four scores for each round counting towards the overall team score. The tournament, which will take place Monday, April 7 and Tuesday, April 8, will consist of 54 holes. Monday will feature 36 holes of play, while the third and final round will take place on Tuesday. Action begins both days with 8:00 a.m. (ET) shotgun starts. The University of Miami and the University of Louisville are the hosts for the event.
FIELD: A 14-team field will take to the Don Shula Golf Resort (par 72, 6,210-yard). Notre Dame headlines the group as the Irish are ranked 25th according to Golfstat. Tulsa enters competition ranked 27th, while Louisville is 30th. The matchup between Notre Dame and Louisville could set a preview for things to come at the BIG EAST Championship. Fellow BIG EAST foe South Florida will also be competing in Miami. The Bulls are ranked 78th. Rounding out the field in order of ranking is Furman (39), Georgia State (41), Missouri (52), College of Charleston (59), Mississippi State (64), Kansas State (75), Miami (76), Florida International (81), Middle Tennessee State (87) and Boise State (97).
NOTRE DAME LINEUP: Freshman So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep (FL)) is coming off of her fifth team-leading effort of the season as she tied for seventh at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. Park, who leads the Irish with a 73.26 season stroke average, will play from the top spot in the Irish lineup. She has a team-best two medalist finishes this season and has placed in the top seven in seven of eight tournaments this season. The rookie captured victories at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup (Sept. 17-18) and the Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational (March 7-9). Park also claimed runner-up showings at the Cougar Classic (Sept. 9-11) and the Ann Rhoads Intercollegiate (Oct. 26-28). Park possesses a top round of 69 (-3) and a top 54-hole total of 212 (-4) this season.
Teeing it up at the No. 2 position for Notre Dame will be fellow freshman Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River). Conway collected her second top-10 finish of the season as she tied for 10th at the Betsy Rawls Invitational. She boasts a 76.74 scoring average, which ranks third on the team. Her top round is a one-over par 73, which occurred twice. Conway’s best three-round total is 226 (+10) at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup. Conway’s top finish of the first season occurred at the Wolverine Invitational (Sept. 29-30) where she tied for ninth.
Lisa Maunu (St. Thomas, Ontario/Parkside Collegiate Institute) ranks second on the Notre Dame squad with a 75.17 season stroke average. The junior co-captain will play from the third spot in the Fighting Irish lineup. Maunu has four top-10 finishes this season, including a victory at the Cougar Classic (Sept. 9-11). Maunu carded a school-record round of 66 (-6) at the Cougar Classic en route to winning with a program-record 54-hole total of 210 (-6).
Sophomore Annie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) carries a 77.17 scoring average on the season and will be at the No. 4 spot for the Irish. Earlier this spring, Brophy notched a career-best finish at the Rio Verde Invitational (March 7-9) as she tied for second. Her top round of the season, a one-under par 71, and top three-round score, an even-par 216, were achieved at the Rio Verde.
Fellow sophomore Kristin Wetzel (Middletown, N.Y./Hilton Head Prep (SC)), who possesses a 77.39 season stroke average, rounds out the Notre Dame contingent. This season, Wetzel has notched career-best totals for a single round (71/-1) and 54-hole score (221/+5). The one-under par 71 occurred at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup (Sept. 17), while the three-round tally came at the Rio Verde Invitational, where she also recorded a career-best finish by placing sixth.
LAST TIME OUT: Notre Dame tied for fifth place at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational (March 17-19) with a 36-hole total of 642 (317-325) at a soggy and windy par 72, 6,344-yard The University of Texas Golf Club. The Fighting Irish began the final day in fifth place and that is where they would end up after posting a 37-over par 325 during the second and final round. New Mexico won the team title with a 623 (+47).
The tournament was shortened from 54 holes to 36 after inclement weather forced the cancellation of Tuesday’s scheduled round.
New Mexico entered the final day of play in first and the Lobos would hold on with a 320 to top the 18-team field featured five top-25 teams. The first-round total of 303 (+15) from New Mexico was the low round of the event. No. 5 Florida finished one shot in back of the Lobos, while Texas (630) and No. 6 Arkansas (632) rounded out the top-four teams. The 20th-ranked Irish and No. 24 TCU tied for fifth.
Arkansas’ Stacy Lewis edged out Florida’s Whitney Myers by one stroke to take the individual title with a seven-over par 151 (74-77). Myers’ four-over par 76 was tied for the top score of the final day. Her teammate, Ornella Jouven, was the leader the first round with a tournament-best even-par 72. She would finish tied for fourth with a 155.
Notre Dame freshman So-Hyun Park collected her fifth team-leading effort of the season by shooting identical rounds of 78. Her 12-over par 156 total placed her in a three-way tie for seventh. Park has finished in the top seven in seven of the eight tournaments this season.
Fellow Irish rookie Katie Conway notched her third top-10 finish of the campaign as she registered a 13-over par 157 (77-80) to wind up among a three-way tie for 10th. Her five-over par 77 in the first round was the low Notre Dame round of the tournament.
Irish junior co-captain Lisa Maunu carded a 165 (82-83) total and finished in a five-way tie for 51st. Sophomore Annie Brophy tied for 61st after turning in a 168 (80-88). Rounding out the Notre Dame lineup was Kristin Wetzel as the sophomore fired a 169 (85-84) and tied for 67th.
HITTING THE BOOKS: The Notre Dame women’s golf team posted a 3.41 GPA during the 2007 fall semester. That mark ranked second among all 26 varsity athletic programs at the University. The women’s tennis team was first with a 3.46 GPA. In all, 23 Fighting Irish teams posted a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the fall.
UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS: Notre Dame opened the 2007-08 campaign with wins at the Cougar Classic (Sept. 9-11), Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup (Sept. 17-18) and at the Wolverine Invitational (Sept. 29-30). This season signifies the first time in program history that Notre Dame has ever won three straight tournaments. The Fighting Irish won their program-record tying fourth tournament of the season at the Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational (March 7-9). Notre Dame also won four times during both the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.
IRISH THOUGHTS: Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt discusses the Canes & Cards Classic …
“I am very familiar with the course there because when I was head coach at South Florida we’d play there every year for the Florida state collegiate championship for 14 years. I certainly feel at home there. It’s a great course and I think it sets up well for us. I hope it’ll give us an opportunity to shoot some good scores and get our confidence up heading into the Big East Tournament.”
“I think it’ll be a good test for us because it’s a pretty good field. There are some teams that are ranked right behind us so it’ll be good competition for us. Hopefully we can play well. We’ve been able to get outside a bit here at home and it’s the most we’ve been out this year and the team is putting up good scores. I hope we can get down there, play well and bring home the trophy.”
RESULTS: Full results of the Canes & Cards Classic can be found at hurricanesports.com.
NEXT UP: Notre Dame will head to Batavia, Ohio for the 2008 BIG EAST Championship. The 54-hole tournament will take place April 20-22 at the Elks Run Golf Club.