Feb. 15, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team will open its spring schedule where the Irish ended the fall when they travel to Corpus Christi, Texas to participate in the 2002 Cingular Islander Invitational. The 54-hole tournament will be hosted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and played on Mon.-Tues., Feb., 18-19 at the par-72, 5,900-yard Kings Crossing Golf and Country Club.
The Irish and the remainder of the 15-team field will begin play on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CST) with 36 holes followed by 18 holes on Tuesday morning beginning at 7:30 a.m. (CST).
This will be Notre Dame’s second trip to Corpus Christi as they finished the fall with a fourth-place finish in a field of 13 at the Islander Fall Classic that was also held at the Kings Crossing Golf and Country Club.
Notre Dame was led in that tournament by freshman Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif.) who tied for third in the 71-player field with a 54-hole total of 232 (78-80-74). Lotta turned in the best single round of her career with a third-round three-over par 74 while the 232 was her best 54-hole mark in four tournaments for the Irish.
Shannon Byrne (So., Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Terri Taibl (Jr., Elm Grove, Wis.) had top 20 finishes in the tournament. Byrne tied for 15th with a 243 (77-85-81) and Taibl was a shot behind in 17th with a 244 (83-76-85).
Joining the Irish in the 15-team field besides the host school Texas A&M at Corpus Christi, are Jackson State, Kansas, Kansas State, Lamar, McLennan Community College, McNeese State, Northeastern State, Oral Roberts, Southwest Texas State, Texas Southern, Texas-El Paso, Texas-Pan American and Xavier.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will be looking to defend its title in the tournament’s second season. The Islanders edged Lamar for the title last season. Melissa Newman-Gillespie is the defending medalist as she won last year’s tournament by three strokes.
Irish head coach Debby King will take seven golfers to Corpus Christi led by Lotta, Byrne and Taibl. Lotta finished the fall as Notre Dame’s top golfer with a 79.80 average. Byrne was second with an 80.70 average in four fall tournaments. Notre Dame’s third golfer is senior Kristin McMurtrie who had an 81.00 average in three fall tourneys. Taibl finished fourth with an 82.14 mark for the first half of the season.
Rounding out the Irish contingent are senior Lauren Fuchs (Louisville, Ky.), freshman Casey Rotella (Keswick, Va.) and sophomore Rebecca Rogers (Alpharetta, Ga.). Fuchs turned in an 83.89 average for the fall and was followed by Rotella (84.67) and Rogers (85.29).
Fuchs and Rogers also made the trip to Corpus Christi in the fall. Fuchs tied for 39th with a 253 (83-84-86) while Rogers tied for 32nd with a 251 (84-84-83).