SMC Golf: Saint Mary’s places first in Franklin tournament
Eric Retter | Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Saint Mary’s ended its season on a high note Monday, winning the 2006 Franklin College Lady Grizzly Spring Classic at The Legends of Indiana Country Club in Franklin, Ind.
The Belles took control of the tournament from the beginning, finishing the opening round Sunday with a total score of 344 – 14 strokes lower than their nearest opponent, Olivet, which shot a 358 on the day.
“I think that we knew we needed to play well, and we went there and got the job done,” sophomore Katie O’Brien said.
On Monday, the Belles again put together a strong outing and shot a composite 349, the third-best team score of the round. In part because of the large cushion Saint Mary’s had going into Monday, the team’s lead was never seriously challenged, and the Belles’ final score of 693 topped the seven-team field by nine strokes.
“We’re excited that we got first,” O’Brien said. “We wanted to play well for the seniors, because this may be their last tournament.”
The Belles were led by a pair of seniors, as Megan Mattia shot rounds of 78 and 82 to finish with a team-best 160, while Kirsten Fantom finished with team second-best 175 after shooting rounds of 87 and 88. Mattia’s 160 was good for second place in the tournament, finishing behind Franklin’s Katie Tewell, who shot a composite 152 behind rounds of 80 and 72.
Despite Tewell’s performance, Franklin finished with a team score of 721, landing the team in a distant third.
O’Brien finished the weekend with the median Saint Mary’s score, shooting back-to-back 88s to finish with 176. Senior Nicole Bellino, who shot a pair of 91s, and freshman Alex Sei, who shot a 94 both days, rounded out the Belles’ scoring five, finishing with total scores of 182 and 188, respectively.
“I think all of us were pretty consistent this weekend,” O’Brien said.
The Belles will now have to wait and see whether their performance over the course of the season will earn them a bid to the NCAA Div. III Championships, which will be held in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. on May 9-12.
“Hopefully the hard work we put in pays off,” O’Brien said. “We all left the course feeling pretty good about ourselves.”
After this weekend’s victory, the Belles have at least somewhat improved their chances for selection.
“It’s always important to come out on top – that will look real good to the NCAA committee,” O’Brien said. “We went there, got our job done and took the tournament.”