Sept. 19, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team opens play for the 2002-03 season this Saturday and Sunday, Sept., 21-22 at the Mary Fossum Invitational at East Lansing, Mich. The 54-hole tournament will be played on the par 72, 6,053-yard Forest Akers West Course and is hosted by Michigan State University.
A traditional season-opening tournament for the Irish, the 2001 event was cancelled due to the terrorist attacks on September 11. This year’s tournament features a field of 13 schools. Besides Notre Dame and Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, Ferris State, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Kent State, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio University, Western Michigan and Wisconsin will participate. Play will begin each morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time with 36 holes scheduled for Saturday and 18 on Sunday.
Irish coach Debby King will go into the tournament with three veterans and three freshmen in her lineup. Leading the veterans will be juniors Shannon Byrne (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Rebecca Rogers (Alpharetta, Ga.) along with sophomore Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif.). Making their first appearances for the Blue and Gold will be freshmen Sarah Bassett (Spokane, Wash.), Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash.) and Lauren Gebauer (Columbus, Ohio).
Byrne got her season off to a strong start by winning the 2002 Notre Dame campus championship over Labor Day weekend. Byrne was third among Irish golfers with an 81.50 average in nine tournaments last season. She tied for 76th in the rain-shortened Mary Fossum tournament in 2000 with an 84 in the one round that was played. For her career, she owns an 80.96 average in 19 career tournaments.
Rogers was fifth on the team with an 83.63 average in eight tournaments during 2001-02. Her best finish was a tie for 20th at the Islander Spring Invitational. She fired an 83 in her first visit to the Mary Fossum Invitational during her freshman year. In 16 career tournaments, Rogers has an 83.30 average.
Lotta was Notre Dame’s top golfer in 2001-02 as she set a school record with the lowest single-season average (78.95) over nine tournaments and 21 rounds. Included were four, top-10 finishes during the season.
Bassett and Brophy come to the Irish from Spokane, Wash., where they were high school rivals playing at Lewis and Clark High School and Gonzaga Prep respectively. Bassett was an all-City selection all four years and was the District champion in her senior year when she recorded a 75.25 average. Brophy helped Gonzaga to the Washington State title with a 73.00 average her senior year and was an all-City and all-Conference choice for three years.
Gebauer played her high school golf at Columbus Academy where she played on two state runner-up teams in 2000 and 2001. A three-time all-District and all-League selection, Gebauer finished ninth at the 2000 state championship and was a second-team all-state selection.
Following the Mary Fossum Invitational, Notre Dame will play host to the second annual Notre Dame Invitational at the Warren Golf Course on Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29. Eighteen teams will participate in the 54-hole tournament that will begin each morning at 8:00 a.m. Admission is free and the tournament is open to the public.