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ND Women’s Golf: Squad ready for challenging field

Eric Prister | Thursday, October 15, 2009

Coming off of a solid fourth place finish at the highly-contested Windy City Collegiate, the Irish will compete against a another difficult field at the Mercedes Benz Collegiate Championship this weekend, a tournament which includes five teams ranked in the top 25.

“We still have to go and play our own game, but we have to realize that we’re doing that against teams that are ranking-wise better than us,” coach Susan Holt said. “We have to really be more aware about what we’re doing and just manage things a little better because there isn’t a lot of room for error.”

Holt is confident in her team’s ability to win the tournament, but only if each player performs to her ability in all three rounds.

“I think we need everyone to show up all three days,” Holt said. “We’ve had good quality rounds from every player at different times. We just need that to happen a little more consistently and every day. We have the talent to do it; we just need to start getting it done, especially in competition.”

The Irish lineup will not change from the five golfers who competed at the Windy City Collegiate, which includes sophomore Becca Huffer, who was recently named the Big East Women’s Golfer of the Month.

“[Huffer’s] been a huge component to our success,” Holt said. “Last year she came in as a freshman and won Big East Freshman of the Year and ended up being one of the best on the team. She’s a good player and I think she gives everyone on the team a reason to try to keep up with her. They all realize that if they play up to speed with Becca, the team will be very successful.”

In addition to Huffer, seniors Annie Brophy and Kristin Wetzel, along with juniors So-Hyun Park and Kaite Conway, will compete for the Irish in Mercedes Benz Collegiate, which will take place in Knoxville, Tenn. starting Oct. 16.

“I’ve never been to the Tennessee tournament,” Holt said. “It’s a very hard tournament to get into, and we were able to get invited based on the success we had last year. I don’t know specific details, but I do know that it’s a pretty challenging course and it’s a course where you have to hit quality golf shots. I think that players to our advantage. We’ll just have to see what we can do with it.”

Among those playing in the tournament with the Irish are No. 1 USC, No. 7 LSU and No. 11 Florida. Eighteen teams in total will compete in the three-day tournament hosted by the University of Tennessee this weekend.

“Every coach would like to think that they have the best players that they could have and that give them a chance to win every time,” Holt said. “We’ve been successful the last few years and had a lot of wins and a lot of success. Typically we tend to rise up to the competition. I hope it carries through this week.”