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Records Fall As Irish Vault Into Tie For Lead At Cougar Classic

Sept. 15, 2003

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It took only one collegiate round for freshman Noriko Nakazaki (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates HS) to etch her name in the Notre Dame women’s golf record books. Less than a week after celebrating her 18th birthday, the Irish rookie fired a school-record 69 (-3) Monday morning in the first round of the Cougar Classic, hosted by the College of Charleston at the Yeamans Hall Golf Club (par 72, 6,026 yards) in Hanahan, S.C. She is the first women’s golfer in Notre Dame history to break 70 in intercollegiate competition and she tops the old Irish record of 70 set by current senior co-captain Rebecca Rogers (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial HS) at the 2000 Notre Dame Invitational.

Later in the day, Nakazaki followed up her early success with a second-round 72 that included six birdies and she stands in second place in the individual standings after 36 holes with a three-under par 141. Nakazaki’s opening salvo highlighted a strong first day for Notre Dame, which is tied for the lead at the prestigious tournament with a two-round score of 13-over par 589 (285-304). That total included a school-record mark of three-under par 285 in the first round, shattering the old Irish standard of 295 set at the 1997 Midwest Classic. The 2003 BIG EAST Conference runner-up Miami (Fla.) shares the 36-hole lead with Notre Dame at 589 (296-293), five shots ahead of third-place Furman (594).

Sophomore Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep), the reigning BIG EAST Championship co-medalist, showed a consistent touch throughout the day, firing rounds of 74 and 73 to put her in a four-way tie for fifth place at 147. Meanwhile, senior co-captain Shannon Byrne (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove HS) got her final season off to a flying start with a career-low 70 (two-under par) in the opening round. She stumbled slightly in the second round and is tied for 16th place entering the final round with a 36-hole score of 149 (70-79).

Freshman Stacy Brown (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) made a solid showing in the morning round with an even-par 72, but struggled in the afternoon and takes a 36-hole total of 155 (72-83), good for a 36th-place tie, into Tuesday’s final round. Junior Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount HS) rounded out the Irish starting five, sitting in 49th place overall after carding a 158 (78-80) on Monday.

Portions of the Cougar Classic are being televised live in the Charleston area on Comcast Cable Channel 28 and via webcast at The final round of the tournament will air Tuesday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (EDT). In addition, live hole-by-hole scoring will be available by Golfstat at

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TEAM RESULTS (36-hole totals): 1. (tie) NOTRE DAME 589 (285-304) and Miami (Fla.) 589 (296-293); 3. Furman 594 (294-300); 4. North Carolina State 601 (299-302); 5. Mississippi 603 (301-302); 6. Louisville 604 (305-299); 7. (tie) College of Charleston 608 (299-309) and Campbell 608 (304-304); 9. East Carolina 611 (304-307); 10. Virginia 616 (306-310); 11. South Florida 620 (308-312); 12. Penn State 625 (314-311); 13. Kentucky 629 (319-310); 14. Maryland 638 (322-316); 15. Richmond 647 (326-321); 16. Appalachian State 664 (322-342); 17. Cincinnati 669 (333-336).

TOP 9 INDIVIDUALS (of 90): 1. Tina Miller (Miami, Fla.) 139 (70-69); 2. Noriko Nakazaki (Notre Dame) 141 (69-72); 3. Jade Polonich (Mississippi) 143 (69-74); 4. Sapna Patel (College of Charleston) 145 (70-75); 5. (tie) Katie Brophy (Notre Dame) 147 (74-73), Esther Lee (Miami, Fla.) 147 (73-74), Katie Tewell (Louisville) 147 (76-71) and Brandi Underwood (Campbell) 147 (73-74).

NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (of 90): 2. Noriko Nakazaki 141 (69-72); 5. (tie) Katie Brophy 147 (74-73); 16. (tie) Shannon Byrne 149 (70-79); 36. (tie) Stacy Brown 155 (72-83); 49. Karen Lotta 158 (78-80).