The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



SMC Golf: Belles look to maintain momentum at Invitational

Jack Hefferon | Monday, April 4, 2011

After a record-breaking start to the spring season, No. 12 Saint Mary’s will try to keep the ball rolling in Texas this week at the Southwestern Invitational.

The Belles got off to a hot start in the season-opening George Fox Invitational, held two weeks ago in Peoria, Ariz. After the first day, the team’s tally of 302 was good for first place and a six-shot lead. That effort was led by senior captain Mary Kate Boyce, who shot a 66 in her very first round of the season. The score was the lowest in school history. While host George Fox University caught the Belles, their second-place finish was a solid early-season showing. In addition to her record-breaking first day, Boyce’s two-day total of 142 shattered the Saint Mary’s record by six strokes, as well.

“We just hope that we can stay on that same level we were at in Arizona,” Boyce said. “I don’t know if I can go quite that low again, but our goal is winning, and we’ll see if we can break that record in the process.”

Since that first tournament, the Belles have had two weeks to practice and fine tune their game in practice. While they may not be the longest shots, Boyce and her teammates have put in the most time with their swings around the green.

“We’ve been working on our short game a lot, because that’s where we believe we can save strokes and beat out other teams,” Boyce said.

Now Saint Mary’s will descend on Teravista Golf Club in Georgetown, Texas for the Southwestern Invitational. This tournament annually has great competition, and this year’s edition will be no exception. No. 14 Texas-Tyler and No. 23 Mary Hardin Baylor will both be in attendance, but Boyce believes that their toughest competitor may be the host team.

“We’re playing against [No. 24] Southwestern, and they were a tournament team last year,” Boyce said. “We expect to be challenged, but at the same time, we feel like we have a good shot of winning.”

And while the other teams will be fierce, the biggest challenge the Belles will face will probably come from the course. The 7,200-yard course will explore players’ ability to deal with another variable: wind.

“We had our practice round on Sunday, so we’re pretty prepared for the course,” Boyce said. “It’s open to a lot of wind, so the conditions will be very demanding on every shot.”

The Belles will begin their first day of play today at 8 a.m.