Feb. 5, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After a promising fall season in which the twenty-fifth ranked Notre Dame women’s golf team showcased flashes of excellence, including winning the Heather Farr Memorial tournament and shattering the program record for low team and individual rounds, the Irish are anxious get the second half of their 2008-09 campaign underway.
The team’s second half slate begins at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, California. The three-day tournament, hosted by the Ohio State University, will take place at the Palos Verdes Golf Club on February 9-11. Aside from the 25th-ranked Irish, the field features 15 other teams, including top-ranked UCLA and third-ranked Arizona State.
In the fall portion of their season, the Irish notched a tournament title and two other top-five finishes. Their win at the Heather Farr Memorial in Broomfield, Colorado included a second round score of 281, a record-low total at Notre Dame. Within that 281, sophomore All-American So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep) shot a program record-low 66. The Irish finished the event at minus-six, also a record-low finish for a tournament.
Notre Dame’s other top-five finishes came at the Mary Fossum Invitational and the Lady Northern Invitational. At the Mary Fossum, the Irish finished third out of 12 teams. The Irish also finished third, out of 14 teams, at the Lady Northern.
Entering the spring schedule, Park leads the team with a 74.87 stroke average through five fall events. The sophomore All-American is closely pursued by freshman Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo./Littleton HS), who checks in with a 75.07 stroke average. Huffer, recently named Colorado’s female high school athlete of the year for 2008, has been one of Notre Dame’s most consistent performers as 13 of her 15 rounds started have counted towards team scores.
Annie Brophy’s (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) 75.40 average as well as Lisa Maunu’s (St. Thomas, Ontario/Parkside Collegiate Institute) 75.47 mark give the Irish an extremely steady top-four. Brophy leads the Irish with 14 – out of a possible 15- rounds scored. Impressively, over her first two and a half seasons with the Irish, nearly 86 percent (67/78) of her rounds have factored into team scoring.
After missing out on the team’s first tournament, sophomore Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) has chipped in with a 76.92 stroke average in four events, including one event played as an independent entrant. She returned to the starting lineup at the Heather Farr, helping the Irish to the win while having her second-round 75 count towards Notre Dame’s record low score in the second round.
Individually, the Irish have combined for six top-ten finishes and 13 top-20 finishes with Park, Maunu, and Brophy finishing fourth at various events for Notre Dame’s top individual finish in the fall. At the Heather Farr, Park and Maunu tied for fourth-place as they shot minus-fives (211) at the event. Brophy finished fourth at the Lady Northern with a plus-six mark (222).
As the team embarks on the remainder of their 2008-09 slate, the Irish may need to showcase all of their depth because the schedule does not get any easier after the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. In March, Notre Dame will play in the LSU/Cleveland Classic in Baton Rouge, La. before traveling to Austin, Texas to take part in the 2009 Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin Texas. The Irish close out their regular-season at the Bryan National Collegiate in Brown Summit, N.C. All three tournaments feature strong fields that mirror what they will face in Palos Verdes. Once the regular-season concludes, the Irish will look to defend their 2008 BIG EAST Championship before moving on to NCAA play.
The Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge:
FORMAT: Each team’s lineup will be comprised of five golfers with the lowest four scores for each round counting towards the overall team score. The tournament will consist of 54 holes, with each golfer playing an 18-hole round on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
FIELD: A field of 16 teams will take to the Palos Verdes Golf Course (Golfstat rankings in parentheses). In addition to the Irish, the teams participating include Arizona State (3), Baylor (59), BYU (64), California (16), Denver (19), East Carolina (47), Florida (29), Michigan State (20), Ohio State (27), Pepperdine (13), Stanford (21), Texas A&M (32), UCLA (1), USC (2) and Wake Forest (11).
NOTRE DAME LINEUP: The Irish lineup will include senior captain Lisa Maunu (St. Thomas, Ontario/Parkside Collegiate Institute), junior Annie Brophy (Spoakne, Wash./Gonzaga Prep), sophomores Soh-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep) and Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) and freshman Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo./Littleton HS).
RESULTS: Live hole-by-hole scoring of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge is available through Golfstat. To access the site go to http://www.golfstatresults.com. At the end of each day, results and recaps will also be posted on und.com.
NEXT UP: Notre Dame travels to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to take part in the LSU/Cleveland Classic on March 20-22 at the LSU Golf Course.
— ND —