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SMC GOLF: Belles head to Columbus for Invite

Anna Fricano | Friday, April 1, 2005

The spring season will kick-off for the Saint Mary’s golf team this weekend as the Belles travel to Capital University in Columbus, Ohio to compete in the Purple and White Invitational. Saint Mary’s will begin its season with much the same expectations it has had the past couple of years.The Belles are looking to be selected for the third year in a row for the NCAA competition, which will take place in early May.This weekend’s event is one of five that Saint Mary’s will compete in throughout the month of April, and the team’s primary goals are simple – play well enough to qualify for the tournament and peak at the right time.The outlook is definitely positive for the Belles, who have a roster composed almost entirely of juniors and seniors.Coach Mark Hamilton is confident in his players’ ability, especially since the core of the team has been together for three years. “They know the ropes,” Hamilton said. “They’ve played in some big tournaments…they have the experience that it takes.”One thing that will not be on the Belles’ side this weekend will be the weather. The team is playing on an unfamiliar course and has a history of giving a substandard performance when the weather is less than decent – the forecast for Columbus, Ohio calls for rain.Hamilton looks at this invitational as an opportunity for the team to improve on its overall performance in bad conditions. “One of our focuses is on learning to be better mudders, to be able to perform better than everyone else when the weather is poor,” Hamilton said.Saint Mary’s will certainly want to be at the top of its game this weekend, competing against some of the top programs in the region. The Purple and White Invite is in its fifth year and will play host to Ohio Athletic Conference champion Otterbein College, American Mideast Conference champion Walsh University and defending tournament champion Wilmington College. This is the first year that the Belles have taken part in the invitational, as it was a good fit in the schedule and, according to Hamilton, a good test to see what the ladies would need to improve on in the next month.The competition begins at 10:30 a.m. with a shotgun start and will continue through Saturday.Capital University is hosting the event at the Foxfire Golf Club in Lockbourne, Ohio.

Contact Anna Fricano at africa01@saintmarys.edu