Feb. 19, 2002
Corpus Christi, Texas – The Notre Dame women’s golf team shot a final round 311 (21 strokes better that their previous best round of the tournament) to finish in seventh place at the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Spring Invitational in the season opening tournament for the Irish.
The final round 311 gave Notre Dame a 54-hole total of 979 (332-336-311) and left the Irish 27 strokes behind the tournament’s team champion Texas-El Paso. UTEP shot a final round 296 to come from 12 strokes behind to edge Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by four strokes and the tourney win.
UTEP finished with a 952 (329-327-296) on the 5,796-yard, par 72 Kings Crossing Golf and Country Club course. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi shot a closing round of 312 after opening rounds of 324-320 for a 956 mark.
The University of Kansas finished third with a 963 (338-319-306), Kansas State was fourth with a 964 (325-334-305) and McLellan Community College was fifth with a 969 (323-334-312).
Notre Dame was led by freshman Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif.) who tied for ninth after her final round three-over par 75 that gave her a 54-hole total of 239 which was nine strokes behind tournament medalist Ashlie Simmons of McLellan CC. Simmons final round of even-par 72 gave her a 230 total and a two-stroke win over defending champion Melissa Newman-Gillespie of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Besides Lotta, who had opening rounds of 84 and 80, the Irish had two other golfers finish in the top 20. Junior Terri Taibl (Elm Grove, Wis.) and sophomore Rebecca Rogers (Alpharetta, Ga.) tied for 20th with 244 totals. Taibl fired a four-over par 76 after rounds of 81 and 87 for her 244 while Rogers, playing as an individual entrant turned in rounds of 82-82-80 on the way to her best 54-hole mark of the season.
Shannon Byrne (So., Arlington Heights, Ill.) tied for 24th with a 246 (84-82-80) to finish fourth among Irish golfers. Freshman Casey Rotella (Keswick, Va.) tied for 39th as an individual entrant with a 251 (85-83-83), Kristin McMurtrie (Sr., Calgary, Alb.) tied for 44th with a 253 (83-87-83) and Lauren Fuchs (Sr., Louisville, Ky.) tied for 51st after shooting rounds of 89, 88 and 80 for a 257 total.
The Irish return to action in two weeks when they travel to the Tulane Green Wave Women’s Golf Classic on March 4-5. The tournament will be played at the Lakewood Country Club in New Orleans, La.
FINAL TEAM RESULTS (54-hole totals): 1. Texas-El Paso 329-327-312-956, 2. Texas A&M Corpus Christi 324-320-312-956, 3. Kansas 338-319-306-963, 4. Kansas State 325-334-305-964, 5. McLennan CC 323-334-312-969, 6. Oral Roberts 326-341-304-971, 7. Notre Dame 332-336-311-979, 8. Lamar 337-335-312-984, 9. McNeese State 344-327-325-996, 10. S.W. Texas State 331-351-324-1006, Northeastern Oklahoma State 346-339-324-1006, 12. Xavier 340-333-335-1008, 13. Texas-Pan American 356-347-342-1045.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 71): 1. Ashlie Simmons (McLennan CC) 77-81-72-230, 2. Melissa Newman-Gillespie (Texas A&M-CC) 80-76-76-232, 3. Heidi Brown (Oral Roberts) 76-83-74-233, Leslie Hawley (UTEP) 82-78-73-233, 5. Christine Boucher (Kansas State) 80-80-74-234, 6. Amy Willmon (UTEP) 80-82-74-236, 7. Linda Chen (UTEP) 80-83-75-238, Edie Murdoch (Kansas State) 83-79-76-238, 9. Karen Lotta (Notre Dame) 84-80-75-239, Jill McDonald (Kansas) 84-77-78-239.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (of 71): t9. Karen Lotta 84-80-75-239, t20. Terri Taibl 81-87-76-244, Rebecca Rogers 82-82-80-244, 24. Shannon Byrne 84-82-80-246, t39. Casey Rotella 85-83-83-251, t44. Kristin McMurtrie 83-87-83-253, t51. Lauren Fuchs 89-88-80-257.