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SMC GOLF: Belles face tough opposition

Joe Meixell | Friday, April 15, 2005

Two more events stand between now and the NCAA Division III Golf Champio-nships for Saint Mary’s. The Belles, who are in great position for a spot in the competition, will get a chance this weekend to test their skills against some of their bigger competitors in a two-day tournament. Saint Mary’s travels to Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. today to compete in the annual Spring Fling. The players will tee-off at 1 p.m., and the competition continues through Saturday.

After a disappointing loss to DePauw University last weekend, the Belles will get another chance to face them at this weekend’s event. The Tigers are ranked fifth in the Division-III standings – behind Saint Mary’s – but defeated the Belles at the Tri-State University Invitational a week ago. Last year, the Tigers won the Spring Fling with a team score of 303.

Saint Mary’s will have to improve their individual scores in order to compete well at the Spring Fling.

In 2004, the top 15 individual finishers at the event came in with scores ranging from 71 to 80. Saint Mary’s did not compete in the event last year, but the team has had trouble scoring below the mid-eighties so far this spring.

Senior Stefanie Simmerman brought in a score of 79 at last week’s invitational, but other than that scores have ranged from 83-100. Seniors Julia Adams and Chrissy Dunham both had several mid to high-seventy rounds in the fall, and the entire team is looking to pull in lower scores across the board.

The Spring Fling, held at the Ironwood Country Club, is a 5,832 yard, par-72 course. In addition to DePauw University, Saint Mary’s will be competing against schools like Hope College, Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Illinois Wesleyan, all of whom finished in the top five last year.

As the Belles’ spot in the NCAA Championships is all but secure, the women are primarily looking to improve on an individual basis between now and then. This weekend should give the Belles a fairly good idea of where they stand against some of the top Division-III programs in the country and what they will need to do in order to peak at the championships in May.