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SMC Golf: Saint Mary’s tied for eighth place

Joe Wirth | Monday, September 12, 2011

Coming off a loss in their first match of the season, the Belles shot a score of 338 Sunday at the Warren Golf Course, emerging from the first day of the O’Brien National Invitational tied for eighth place.

No. 5 Saint Mary’s currently shares the eighth spot with Gustavus Adolphus College, the first round of competition leaving them 23 shots behind co-leaders No. 1 Methodist University and No. 8 Centre College. No. 2 Depauw holds the third place spot with a 317.

One of the strongest tournaments in all of Division III women’s golf, the O’Brien National Invitational hosts only teams ranked in the top-11 nationally, including top-ranked Methodist. The field includes the NGCA Division III Freshman of the Year, 10 All-Americans and 16 All-Region honorees from 2011.

Calm conditions provided good opportunities for scoring on the par-72 layout. The Belles were led by two scores of 83 from sophomore Doyle O’Brien and junior Cara Kielty. The pair of 11-over rounds leaves them seven strokes off the individual lead in a tie for 24th place. O’Brien turned in a strong individual performance, highlighted by a birdie on the par-four 16th hole.

The top spot is shared by five players: Centre College’s junior Whitney Miller, Methodist’s sophomore Kelsie Carralero and junior Jenny Sullivan, George Fox University’s junior Kelsey Morrison and Allegheny College’s Sarah Vorder Bruegge.

Rounding out the Belles’ eligible scorers were seniors Natalie Matuszak and Christine Brown, who fired scores of 85 and 93, respectively. The Belles also had a good showing by first year Janice Hefferenan, who shot an 87 in just her second collegiate tournament.

The Belles will try to break into the tight top-five teams, which are separated by just eight shots.

Competition will resume Monday at 8 a.m. at Warren Golf Course.