July 17, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three members of the University of Notre Dame women’s golf team – senior Shannon Byrne (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove HS) and sophomores Sarah Bassett (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark HS) and Katie Brophy (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) – have been selected to the 2003-04 National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American Scholar Team, the NGCA announced recently. It represents the third consecutive year in which the Irish have had three or more players chosen for the squad, coinciding exactly with the three-year tenure of head coach Debby King.
The criteria for selection to the NGCA All-American Scholar Team is among the most stringent in all of college athletics. Honorees must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.50 and student-athletes must have participated in at least 66 percent of their school’s regularly-scheduled competitive rounds during the 2003-04 season. As a unit, the Irish women’s golf team has posted a team GPA of 3.376 or better in all six semesters since King took over as Notre Dame’s head coach prior to the 2001-02 school year. The Irish recorded their best team GPA under King (3.498) during the spring 2004 semester, a mark that also set the pace for all 26 varsity sports teams at Notre Dame.
“It’s great to have three of our players chosen for the NGCA All-American Scholar Team,” King said. “We really feel this is one of the most prestigious honors our players can receive because not only do they have to have a 3.5 GPA, but they also have to play in 66 percent of our tournament schedule. In that way, it honors both the student and the athlete and we are very proud of them for that.”
Leading the way for the Irish is Byrne, who is the first player in the program’s history to be named to the NGCA All-American Scholar Team three times (2002-04). Byrne was a four-year monogram winner who graduated from the College of Arts and Letters in May with a 3.714 cumulative GPA and degrees in political science and Spanish. As a co-captain for Notre Dame, she finished with a career-low 80.13 stroke average while participating in eight tournaments this year, helping the Irish to their second consecutive BIG EAST Conference title and first-ever NCAA Championship berth. Byrne’s best finish was a seventh-place showing at the Cougar Classic, where she fired a career-low score of seven-over par 223, including a personal-best score of two-under 70 in the first round as Notre Dame won the first of a school-record four tournaments in 2003-04. A seven-time Dean’s List selection, Byrne wrapped up her collegiate career in fifth place on Notre Dame’s career stroke average list at 80.70.
Bassett was chosen for the NGCA All-American Scholar Team for the first time, amassing a 3.582 cumulative GPA as a psychology major in the College of Arts and Letters. A two-year monogram winner, Bassett recorded a 79.92 stroke average this season with a pair of Top 10 finishes to her credit. Her best outing was a third-place finish in the 93-player field at the Notre Dame Invitational and she also fired a career-low score of 226 (+10) at the Shootout at the Legends of Indiana. Bassett has made the Dean’s List twice while maintaining has a 79.58 career stroke average, which is good for third all-time at Notre Dame.
Brophy is a repeat selection to the NGCA All-American Scholar Team, rolling up a 3.566 cumulative GPA as she continues working towards degrees in sociology and Spanish in the College of Arts and Letters. The talented second-year standout wound up second on the team with a career-low 77.58 stroke average, also the second-best single-season mark in school history. She placed in the Top 10 in five tournaments, including three top-five finishes and a season-best tie for second place at the IU Invitational. A two-time all-BIG EAST selection, Brophy also logged a career-low score of 221 in the Shootout at the Legends of Indiana, the third-lowest individual 54-hole score in Irish annals. Brophy has been named to the Dean’s List twice and owns a 78.00 career stroke average, which is the second-lowest figure in school history.
Bassett and Brophy are two of the seven monogram winners who will return for King next season, as Notre Dame seeks to defend its back-to-back BIG EAST titles and return to the NCAA Championship for the second year in a row.
— ND —