Notre Dame alum to compete in Four Winds Invitational

By: Jim Johnston Email
By: Jim Johnston Email

This Friday (6/20) the 2014 Four Winds Invitational tees off at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend. The event is part of the Symetra tour, which feeds in to the LPGA.

The 54 hole invitational is the second largest purse on the tour.

Notre Dame alum Noriko Nakazaki is one of the competitors in the field. This will be the second event of her season. Nakazaki says she is excited to be back in Michiana.

"It is actually really nice to be back here," Nakazaki said. "It is unfortunate that I don't know this course very well but the area is very very special to me. Again, it is very nice to be back."

And while she is back she has the full support of her former Irish coaches. In fact she is staying with them this weekend.

"My coaches are nice enough to let me in their houses and to take me around and to make me feel at home. It is definitely an advantage. I am sure a lot of people are going to be very supportive and so I am just very excited to play here."

The event has proven to be a launching pad for those who finish near the top. Last years champion, Cydney Clanton, is now on the LPGA tour and runner-up, Marissa Steen, is taking part in the LPGA U.S Open this year.

Nakazaki knows just how big this tournament could be with a strong performance.

"This event is the second biggest purse on the Symetra tour so I expect it to be a very big deal," Noriko said. "Though this is my first time playing I have heard very good things about it and the course is going to be very tough. It is going to be a very good challenge."

Nakazaki will tee off in the third group on Friday at 7:40 a.m.

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