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One more chance to qualify

Kate Arnold | Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It has all come down to this.

Saint Mary’s will compete today in the third and final round of the MIAA NCAA qualifying tournament, held at Tri-State University’s Zollner golf course. With a two-day total of 760, the team currently sits in fifth place, behind Olivet, Albion, Hope and Tri-State. Captain Katie O’Brien leads the team with a score of 165. Sophomore Meredith Fantom follows next, with a total of 192.

The Belles have had their sights on this tournament all spring, but the team is currently 36 strokes off the lead going in to the final round.

“The past few weeks have mostly consisted of fine tuning our golf swings and working mainly around the green to help us score low,” Fantom said. “Spring break was incredibly intense for the golf team since we were playing every day, and we really have worked hard since then to practice every day and really work on the areas that each of us needed to improve on.”

Although it’s a long road to victory, the team still has high hopes.

“The course we are playing tomorrow is not nearly as tough as the course we played this past weekend,” Fantom said. “Consistently working on chipping and putting [has been] the most crucial part of preparing … because with a solid short game we will be able to score low as a whole team.”

The Belles are a young team, and were forced to change their fall line up due to the loss of talented players, but they remain confident and enthusiastic.

“If we don’t qualify for Nationals this year, it is in our future plans for next year, and we are all very excited to be one of the top competitors in the fall next year. Our team is extremely close knit and I think that will attribute to our successes this season.” Fantom said.

After today’s competition, the MIAA squad with the lowest cumulative score will advance to the NCAA Championships held May 8-11 at El Campeon Golf Course at the Mission Inn and Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.