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SMC Golf: Golfers get set for Jamboree

Jared Jedick | Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Belles sit in second place in MIAA play as they travel to their third and final Jamboree event of the season today.

Scoring second-place finishes in both of their previous Jamboree events at Kalamazoo and Tri-State University, Saint Mary’s hopes to put forth a strong showing and position themselves for the final two rounds of the MIAA Championship Oct. 5 and 6.

Although the Belles also played at the Ferris State Invitational and the Illinois Wesleyan tournament, only the Jamborees and the Championship count toward the final MIAA standings.

Alma is a first-time host of this Jamboree event, which will be played on Bucks Run Golf Club in Mount Pleasant, Mich. Alma is the only team to have ever seen the course. This uncertainty provides an interesting array of challenges, and surprisingly, advantages to the Belles’ squad.

The lack of familiarity with the course for all the other teams gives Alma a distinct advantage, but the Belles believe they have good shot.

“The layout is very similar to our home course. Hopefully this can be a little bit of an advantage,” Coach Mark Hamilton said.

Leading the Belles is lone senior Katie O’Brien, the average individual strokes leader in the MIAA with an average of 81.1. O’Brien also owns the two best individual rounds of play this year in the conference, at 74 and 76 respectively.

Behind her are Saint Mary’s juniors Meredith Fantom and Perri Hamma, with respective scoring averages of 89.2 and 90.2.

The rest of the team consists of relatively inexperienced players, including freshman Emily Gore, whose 87.1 scoring average is the second-best on the team.

“We are starting five freshmen this year, and we really need them to step up,” Hamilton said. “This could really be a coming of age for them,”

If it is, the Belles could be looking at a return to MIAA glory.

“Up until last year we had won four straight, but now we are starting over again,” Saint Mary’s Sports Information Director Stephen Hinkle said. “We have a young team with a lot of depth.”