Sept. 26, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course (par 72, 5,955-yards) will be the site of the 2002 Notre Dame Women’s Golf Invitational this weekend as the Irish play host to 17 Division I women’s golf teams from the Midwest region and the BIG EAST Conference. Tournament action begins on Saturday, September 28 with 36 holes of play beginning with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. Sunday’s (Sept. 29) final round of play will also begin at 8:00 a.m. The tournament is open to the public and admission is free.
Joining the Irish in this year’s tournament are: Arkansas State, Ball State, Bradley, Boston College, Butler, Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Eastern Michigan, Evansville, Georgetown, Northern Iowa, Ohio University, Rutgers, Texas Pan-American, Western Michigan, Wichita State and Xavier.
The Notre Dame Invitational started in 2000 with the Irish claiming the first team title winning by 30 strokes over Princeton (935-965). Rebecca Rogers (Alpharetta, Ga.), a freshman at the time, won the first individual title as she set a Notre Dame women’s record by firing a two-under par 70 in the opening round on the way to winning the title with a 54-hole total of nine-over par 225.
Last season, the University of Iowa took the team title by five strokes (968-973) over Wichita State. The Irish finished fourth in 2001 with a 984-total. The tournament medalist, Wichita State’s Amy Lee (16-over par 232) won by one stroke over Iowa’s Heather Suhr. Lee will be back to defend her title this fall with the Shockers. Notre Dame’s top finishers were Karen Lotta (So., Los Angeles, Calif.) and Shannon Byrne (Jr., Arlington Heights, Ill.) who were ninth and 10th respectively.
The Irish come into this year’s Invitational having played just once this season, finishing 10th in a field of 13 at Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational last weekend.
Coach Debby King’s lineup for this weekend is a young one as four freshmen dot the lineup. Sarah Bassett (Fr., Spokane, Wash.) and Lauren Gebauer (Fr., Columbus, Ohio) finished 1-2 among Irish golfers last week and will take those spots in this week’s lineup.
Rogers and freshman Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash.) will play in the third and fourth spots while Byrne and Lauren Barbir (Fr., Montgomery, Texas) round out the lineup. Barbir will see her first collegiate action this weekend.
The remainder of the Irish roster will play as individuals in the tournament. Lotta will be joined by team captain Terri Taibl (Sr., Elm Grove, Wis.) and freshman Suzanne Hayes (Dublin, Ireland) as they make their first appearances of the young season.
The Warren Golf Course will also play host to the BIG EAST men’s and women’s golf championships in the spring. This is the first season that the BIG EAST has sponsored women’s golf as six of the conference’s schools now field women’s golf teams. Rutgers, Boston College and Georgetown are playing in this year’s Notre Dame Invitational for the first time.