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ND Women’s Golf: Irish disappoint in Invitational

Jack Hefferon | Monday, October 10, 2011

The Irish enjoyed their most successful season ever last year, reaching the NCAA championship for the first time in program history. They won four tournaments, and Irish coach Susan Holt was named Big East Coach of the Year. That previous level of success, however, has yet to carry over to this season.

Notre Dame’s struggles continued this weekend at the highly competitive Tar Heel Invitational at the UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Irish finished with a team score of 909 (+45) for last place, 53 strokes behind champion LSU (-8). Of the 18 teams in the tournament, 12 were ranked in the top-25, and the field quickly pulled away.

“The quality of the field was incredible here,” Holt said. “When you play teams like that, you need to show up. We’ve got a good team, but we just couldn’t get it done.”

While the team may have struggled early on, the Irish were able to rally on Sunday to turn in a +9 score as a team, their best round of the year. On top of that, four of the team’s five golfers turned in their lowest rounds of the tournament. Holt said, however, that the day was not without its flaws.

“Today we did shoot our low round of the year, and that’s encouraging,” she said. “But we all picked up shots coming down the stretch. What could have been a really good day was just an okay day. When we have scores in hand, we’ve got to get it done and get it in the clubhouse.”

Moving forward, the team will have a number of things to work on before the season ends. With just two tournaments left this fall, Notre Dame will continue progressing ahead of the important conference and national tournaments in the spring, Holt said.

“Bottom line, we’re beating ourselves right now more than other teams are beating us,” Holt said. “We’re making lots of mental errors. It’s very sloppy. We’re making it harder than it needs to be on ourselves. All of the girls have things they need to work on.”

The Irish will need to look forward fast, as the team’s next tournament is in just a week’s time.

“It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating. There’s a lot of negatives right now,” Holt said. “We have to use this [as a learning experience]. We need to continue to do what we need to do in practice to get better. We’ll have an off-day [Monday], and then our next tournament is in a week. We need to make the most of our time.”

The Irish will return to the links with something to prove Oct. 17 at the Indiana University Fall Invitational.

Contact Jack Hefferon at wheffero@nd.edu