Notre Dame saved its best for last, finishing its fall schedule with a tie for second in its final tournament of the fall at the rain-shortened Alamo Invitational in San Antonio.
Senior Annie Brophy earned co-medalist honors with an impressive two under par score. The first and second rounds of the Invitational were cancelled due to heavy rain Monday, so the entire tournament was compressed to one round on Tuesday.
“I think [the one-round format] puts more pressure on you because you know this is it because there are no other rounds and no second chances,” coach Susan Holt said. “We needed to come out and play well and we did.”
Sophomore Becca Huffer and juniors So-Hyun Park and Katie Conway rounded out the scorecard for the Irish, all posting a plus-2 mark. Three strokes ahead of the Irish was No. 10 Tennessee, who also won the Mercedes Benz Championship over fall break. In that tournament, the Irish ended in the middle of the pack with a ninth-place finish in a field of 18 teams. Despite being their second-worst finish of the season, the Championship was not much of a disappointment.
“We didn’t hurt ourselves any. Any team that beat us was ranked ahead of us,” Holt said. “We certainly would have liked to place higher, but as it turns out it, it ended up being a respectable finish.”
The Irish (No. 48) also placed ahead of four schools that were ranked higher in the Golfstat rankings heading into the Mercedes Benz Championship (No. 11 LSU, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 20 Tulane, No. 32 Furman). Sophomore Becca Huffer led the way, posting a 54-hole score of 223, which was tied for 15th overall. Huffer also had the top score for the Irish in the first and third rounds with a plus-2 and plus-3, respectively.
Brophy followed Huffer’s effort with a 224 overall.
The Alamo Invitational ends the fall season for the Irish. After a slow start in the opening tournament, the Mary Fossum Invitational, the team has bounced back and is making strides toward a top-25 appearance in the spring. With a four-month break before the Central District Invitational on Feb. 22, the Irish will work in their indoor practice facility during the winter. According to Holt, the focus will be on improving the swings and especially the short games.