SMC Golf: Belles improve to take fourth at Spring Fling
Luke Mansour | Tuesday, April 20, 2010
No. 5 Saint Mary’s finished fourth this weekend at the Illinois Wesleyan Spring Fling Tournament, an important tune-up to next weekend’s MIAA qualifying round for the NCAA berth.
The Belles finished with a total score of 660 on the two-day competition.
Despite hoping to finish higher, Belles players said they felt the tournament prepared them well for the pair of conference qualifiers next weekend.
“We were not completely satisfied with the fourth place finish and went into the tournament hoping to do better,” sophomore Natalie Matuszak said. “Although we expected to place higher we did post good scores which I believe will give us confidence for next weekend.”
Matuszak finished with a total score of 159, leaving her tied for ninth place overall in the tournament. She was able to cut five strokes off her score on the second day, finishing with a 77.
“The scores the second day were better,” Matuszak said. “For me, I felt a lot more confident and knowledgeable of the course the second day, as I’m sure several of my teammates did.”
Junior Rosie O’Connor was two strokes behind Matuszak’s overall score, shooting an 83 Sunday.
Senior Perri Hamma and junior Mary Kate Boyce both saw their scores improve on the second day as well. Boyce shot an 81 on the second day to improve her score by two strokes while Hamma cut six strokes off her Saturday score to shoot an 86.
Winning the tournament was DePauw University with a total score of 630. The Tigers’ Taylor Beaty was the first place finisher with a total score of 149.
Despite the relative unfamiliarity of the course, Matuszak said she felt the course was easy to adjust to on day one, which led to better scores for the Belles on the second day.
“This weekend I just tried to play smart, the course was not that difficult to shooting a decent score was very possible,” Matuszak said.
Saint Mary’s will have the luxury of being able to host the final two MIAA qualifying competitions this weekend at Blackthorn Golf Club Friday and Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course Saturday. Other than just being the weekend’s hosts, Matuszak said she is confident the Belles will be able to win the automatic birth to the national tournament.
“The next two rounds are at home for us, which is a huge advantage,” Matuszak said.
“We have all been working very hard as a team and we have the common goal to make it to nationals.
“I think we all just need to have confidence in what we can do as a team and believe in our skills.”
Saint Mary’s will attempt to overtake Olivet University for the automatic NCAA tournament berth this weekend with the second round teeing off Friday at 2 p.m. at Blackthorn.