Lady Tigers Make 12th-Straight Apperance in Lady Paladin Invitational
Go Tigers! Junior Kathryn O'Rourke competes with the Lady Tigers in the Lady Paladin Invitational after leading the team with a tie for 38th individually in the tournament last year.
Go Tigers!
Junior Kathryn O'Rourke competes with the Lady Tigers in the Lady Paladin Invitational after leading the team with a tie for 38th individually in the tournament last year.
Go Tigers!

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Oct. 12, 2005

For Immediate Release
Contact: Brandon Kolditz, (901) 678-2444

For the 12th-straight year, the University of Memphis women's golf team will compete in the Lady Paladin Invitational hosted by Furman University beginning Friday.

Four of the U of M starters in the first two fall tournaments will compete in Greenville, S.C. with junior Kathryn O'Rourke qualifying for her first tournament in the 2005-06 season. Junior Stacey Tate leads the group and is followed by junior Cameron Barber and freshmen Kayla Stewart and Rachel Larson. Four of the Memphis starters enter this week's tournament with a season round average below 80.

"Our team has been awesome this year," Tate said. "Everybody seems to click at the same time. We are coming off such a high after shooting a 293 in our last tournament."

The Lady Tigers have competed 16 previous times in the annual invitational that is celebrating its 35th year. The best U of M finish in the tournament came in the fall of 1996 when the team finished fifth with a 916 three-round total and trailed the tournament winner Wake Forest by eight strokes. Last year Memphis took 16th out of 23 team with a 914 team finish.

The three-day tournament that concludes on Sunday is played at the Furman Golf Course, a 72-par, 6,103 yard course. Seventeen teams compose the 2005 tournament and include three top 50 schools: #14 Michigan State, #43 Furman and #44 Northwestern. Other schools participating are Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, Florida International, Louisville, Minnesota, Mississippi, Mississippi State, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, USF, TCU and Winthrop.

Memphis enters the tournament ranked No. 89 in Golfweek and 45th in the East Region. Tate is nationally ranked 105th individually, averaging a 74.3 per round. She enters the tournament with top 10 finishes in both of the Lady Tigers fall tournaments leading into the Lady Paladin. Tate helped Memphis shoot a 293, the program's fifth best team round total ever, with a career-low 70 in the second round of the Kentucky-Wildcat Fall Invitational. The New Zealand native is ranked ninth nationally in putts on green with a 1.809 average.

"I'm really looking forward to this tournament," Tate said. "After playing the course last year, I'm looking to improve on my scores. This year I feel a lot better. I've made a lot of changes to my swing the last couple of week's and am excited to see what happens."

Barber enters the tournament in the second slot after finishing with the sixth-best round average in 2004-05. The Lone Tree, Colo., native had a career best three-round tournament at the Wildcat Fall Invitational, shooting a 228 to tie for 23rd place. Barber is averaging 77.8 per round with a season low 75.

Stewart has been consistent in the No. 3 spot through her first two collegiate tournaments, scoring a 235 and a 236. The Cookeville, Tenn., native is averaging a 78.5 with a low round of 75 in the Wildcat Fall Invitational. Stewart has struggled in her first two opening rounds, averaging a 82, but drastically improves in the second round with a 76 average and a 77.5 third round average.

Larson improved by 13 strokes in her second collegiate tournament, tying for 35th with a 232 at the Wildcat Fall Invitational. The Longmont, Colo., native is averaging 79.5 per round with a career low 75 in the first round at Kentucky.

O'Rourke competes in her first tournament of the season after placing third on the team in 2004-05 with an 80.3 stroke average. The Holmes, New York, native led the Lady Tigers in last year's Lady Paladin with a 70-77-78--225 finish to tie for 38th individually. Memphis players have scored a 70 only 18 times in the program's history with Tate accomplishing the feat this year.

"Our team is looking good this year," Tate said. "Coach (Jenny) Bruun has recruited two great freshmen. Cameron has really turned things around this year, and Kathryn has got her game back. We're looking forward to going into this."

Following the Lady Paladin Invitational, The Lady Tigers will compete in their final tournament of the fall at the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Intercollegiate at Kiawah Island, S.C., on Oct. 31-Nov. 1.



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