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ND Women’s Golf: Armstrong goes low again in college debut

Matt Unger | Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The second round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge saw Notre Dame and nearly every other team in the field struggle in the strong winds and tough course conditions at the Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott, Colo.

Notre Dame posted a 23-over-par to drop to 37-over-par for the tournament. The Irish will enter the final round in ninth place out of 18 teams, sitting 12 strokes behind tournament-leading Oregon.

Though Monday’s conditions were far from ideal, Irish coach Susan Holt said she would have gladly taken the weather Tuesday, as yesterday’s round left the entire field with an average three strokes higher than the day before.

“The pin placement was difficult, the greens played extremely fast and the winds were quite strong,” Holt said regarding the playing conditions. “All three of those factors made golfing [Tuesday] for every team difficult.”

The Irish youth continued their strong play. Freshman Ashley Armstrong tied for the team lead Tuesday, shooting a five-over-par 77, following her impressive opening round one-over-par.

“Ashley has played pretty solid over the past two days, but she just had a tough back nine today, where she recorded multiple bogeys,” Holt said.

Meanwhile, freshman Kelli Oride posted a six-over-par 78. Her score over the first 17 holes was an even more impressive three-over-par, but on the 18th hole Oride landed in a bunker and proceeded to shoot a triple bogey.

In another impressive performance, senior Katie Allare shot a five-over-par for the second day in a row, holding steady even with the worsening weather conditions.

However, senior captain Becca Huffer continued to struggle, shooting a team-high 81, following a 79 in the first round. Despite an unusually high round for the senior, Holt said he was encouraged by Huffer’s play Tuesday as she hit 15 greens in regulation.

“Becca had three or four three-putts, leading to a couple bad holes,” Holt said. “Otherwise, she was hitting the ball well and will be fine if she improves on the green.”

While the Irish will have trouble catching Oregon, second place remains within reach as three teams sit just seven stokes ahead of the Irish in a tie for second.

“We just need to show up and play the kind of golf we’re capable of playing,” Holt said. “We need to put ourselves in better positions on the greens to create more birdies and eliminate high scoring holes.”

The Irish will look to move up the ranks as the Golfweek Conference Challenge wraps up Wednesday in Colorado.