March 9, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Fighting Irish women’s golf team will take to the course for the second time this semester as they travel to Bryan, Texas for the `Mo’ Morial tournament Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 12 at the Traditions Club. The 54-hole tournament will feature a solid mix of 18 teams, including the host school Texas A&M. This tournament is crucial for the Irish as it pits several teams from the central region together on the course that will play host to the 2006 NCAA Central Regional. Notre Dame is coming off an 11th-place showing at the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla. on Feb. 19-20.
TOURNAMENT FORMAT: The 54-hole tournament will count the low four of five scores towards the team total. In the case of a team or individual tie, a sudden death playoff will determine the winner, time permitting. Otherwise, the fifth score on the final round will break the team tie. Individuals will be named as co-champions.
Friday’s first day of competition will begin with tee times at 8:30 a.m. (CT). Notre Dame’s quintet will have tee times ranging from 10:09-10:45 a.m. on Friday. This will be a chance for all of the teams involved to play on the Traditions Club, which is the host course for the 2006 NCAA Central Regional May 11-13.
FIELD: The field of 18 features several teams from the central region and boasts eight squads ranked in the top-40 of the golfstat.com rankings. Arkansas headlines the field as the Razorbacks are No. 10, while the host Aggies are also in the top-20 at No. 19. Kent State (24), Baylor (27), SMU (28), Missouri (33), Nebraska (37) and the Fighting Irish (38) round out those teams in the top-40. Eight of the other squads rank in the top-100 (Tulsa-42, TCU-44, Oregon State-49, Kansas-63, Kansas State-65, Oklahoma-77, UTEP-81, Wisconsin-96). Completing the field is Iowa State (112) and Redlands College.
The Irish have faced 12 of the teams at least once during the 2005-06 season and have a mark of 9-12 against the field. Notre Dame squared off against six of the teams in its last event at the Central District Invitational and posted a 1-5 mark in those match-ups.
NOTRE DAME LINEUP: Senior co-captain Suzie Hayes will have the opportunity to play from the No. 1 spot for the first time in her Notre Dame career after her career-best and team-leading effort at the Central District Invitational. She carries a season stroke-average of 79.25 into play on Friday.
Senior Lauren Gebauer will tee it up from the No. 2 position in the Fighting Irish lineup, while junior Noriko Nakazaki occupies the third spot. Rounding out the Notre Dame squad will be freshman Lisa Maunu at No. 4 and senior co-captain Katie Brophy at No. 5.
Nakazaki leads the team with a 74.75 stroke-average, while Brophy is second with a 76.95 mark. Both Nakazaki and Brophy have been a part of the Irish lineup in all seven events so far this season and they share the team lead with 19 of 20 rounds counted toward the team score. Nakazaki also has Notre Dame’s only medalist finish this season and possesses the team’s lowest 54-hole tournament score with a one-under par 215.
Gebauer has produced a fine senior campaign to this point as she has appeared in all seven events with six of them coming as a member of the scoring lineup. She carries a 77.00 stroke-average, which is nearly two shots better than her career average and only three of her rounds have not counted towards the team score.
In just her first season with the Irish, Maunu has already proved to be a mainstay in the lineup. The freshman has a 78.95 stroke-average and has played in all seven tournaments, six of which were as a part of the scoring team.
LAST TIME OUT: The Fighting Irish finished 11th among the field of 14 teams at the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla. (Feb. 19-20) with a three-round score of 932 (305-318-309). Hayes produced a career-best performance as she carded a 54-hole total of 225 (+9) to place in a tie for ninth overall and collect her first-ever team-leading effort. Her first round score of 73 (+1) was also a collegiate-best mark for the Ireland native.
Gebauer and Nakazaki both carded 234 (+18) totals to finish tied for 36th overall. Maunu shot a 245 (+29) to place 67th and Brophy registered a 54-hole total of 247 (+31) to finish in a tie for 68th.
IRISH THOUGHTS: Notre Dame head coach Debby King discusses the `Mo’ Morial …
On the Traditions Club …
“I’ve heard that it’s a very challenging course. I haven’t had a chance to see it yet. We’ll be able to get a practice round in on Thursday before we start play on Friday. Plus, with it being a three-day event that will give us more time to practice after each round. When it’s only a two-day event, it’s like a whirlwind because you are in and then you are out.”
“Another key thing is that if we are selected for the NCAAs again this year, this is the course that will host the central regional. So this should be good practice for us. This will also be the last time that we face teams from our region. There will be a few when we go to Hawaii but this is our last major chance to play other central region teams, so this is pretty important for us.”
On the mindset of the team at this point of the season …
“We were actually able to get outside a couple times last week and play. I think that really helped with our confidence. When you are not able to get out and play that much it really turns into a mental game.”
RESULTS: Live scoring will be conducted by golfstat.com every three holes during tournament play.
NEXT UP: The Fighting Irish will travel to Hawaii for the Dr. Dennis Thompson Invite in Kaneohe, Hawaii March 20-22. The three-day event will take place at the Klipper Golf Course.
Stay up-to-date on the Notre Dame women’s golf team by logging on to und.com or by calling the Notre Dame Athletics Hotline at (574) 631-3000.