Oct. 24, 2000

PARRISH, Fla. – Senior captain Shane Smith closed the fall season with yet another steady round while freshman Shannon Byrne continued the impressive start to her college career, as the Notre Dame women’s golf wrapped up its fall season Tuesday with an 11th-place finish at the Central District Classic.

Notre Dame closed with a round of 322-after posting 331-326 on Monday-for a 979 total at the par-72, 6,113-yard River Wilderness Country Club. Smith posted her third team-best finish in five 2000 fall events, after tying for 28th in the 55 player field with a 240 total (80-79-81).

Byrne closed with an 81 for a 243 total, followed closely by Notre Dame junior Kristin McMurtrie (79-244). Freshmen Rebecca Rogers (84-256) and sophomore Terri Taibl (81-256) rounded out the Irish contingent in the play-five, count-four format.

Northwestern (916) edged Kent State by four strokes to claim the team title while Ohio State’s Ashley Lowery claimed a one-stroke victory in the individual competition. The tournament included several top squads from the Big Ten Conference, plus Kent State, Baylor and Arkansas.

Smith will head into the 2001 spring season with an 82.00 career stroke average and a 79.92 season average-both on pace to challenge the Irish records (82.10, 79.50) set by 1998 graduate Katie King. Smith-who has posted ND’s team-best score in seven of the last 14 intercollegiate events-also has counted to the Notre Dame team score in 52 of her 55 career rounds (94.6 pct.), well ahead of the ND record (.871) shared by ’98 grads King and Tracy Melby.

ND will head into the spring with a 321.33 average four-player score, which would rank ahead of every previous mark in the Irish record book except the 319.83 posted in 1997-98 … Byrne (81.17) surged past Rogers (81.33) to post ND’s second-best fall stroke average, followed by McMurtrie (81.92) and freshman Jeanne Murphy (85.11, played 9 of ND’s 12 rounds) among Irish regulars … Taibl averaged 82.17 strokes while playing in the final two fall events … Smith and Byrne both factored in the four-player team score in 11 of 12 fall rounds, followed by McMurtrie and Rogers (each 9-of-12), Murphy (4-of-9), Taibl (4-of-6) and sophomore Priscilla Ro (1-of-3) … McMurtrie’s fall improved her career average to 83.04 (5th in ND history), including 44-of-53 rounds counted to team score as a member of the starting unit.

1. Northwestern 300-309-307/916, 2. Kent State 310-310-300/920, 3. Ohio State 302-320-303/925, 4. Michigan 304-312-313/928, 5. Michigan State 303-325-319/947, 6. Illinois 318-318-318/954, 7. Baylor 320-326-311/957, 8. Minnesota 313-330-320/963, 9. Wisconsin 321-326-319/966, 10. Arkansas 315-329-326/970, 11. Notre Dame 331-326-322/979.

1. Ashley Lowery (OSU) 72-82-71/225, 2. Emily Gilley (NW) 75-73-78/226, Veronique Drouin (KENT) 76-75-75/226, 4. Martina Gillen (KENT) 79-77-73/229, Mollie Fankhauser (OSU) 74-81-74/229, Lauren Grzebien (NW) 73-79-77/229, Elizabeth Burden (NW) 73-80-76/229.

28. Shane Smith 80-79-81/240, 36. Shannon Byrne 79-83-81/243, 37. Kristin McMurtrie 83-82-79/244, 54. Terri Taibl 89-86-81/256, 52. Rebecca Rogers 90-82-84/256.