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SMC Golf: Belles reunite for Spring Kick-off

Brendan Bell | Wednesday, March 7, 2012

After a fall season that left Saint Mary’s with a shortage of golfers due to study abroad opportunities, a reunited and rejuvenated Belles team will start its spring golf season in Phoenix, Ariz., next weekend.

While many golfers are just starting to get back into a rhythm with their swings, Belles coach Kevin Hamilton said the team’s main long-term goal for the season has already been set.

“By the end of May we would like to be ranked in the top 10 and have won our conference’s [automatic qualifying] bid to play in the NCAA championship,” Hamilton said.

Saint Mary’s has made the NCAA tournament six times in its history and won four conference championships since 2002.

The Belles will spend their break differently than most students, as they open up their spring season with a trip to play in the Spring Kick-Off at Westbrook Country Club in Arizona. While it is their first competition of the season, it is also the only chance the Belles will have to play competitively until April. Hamilton said the team is looking forward to finally converting hard work into results.

“It has been a long time since some of our players have seen competition because of studying abroad,” Hamilton said. “We need to get them and the rest of the team up to speed and implement some of the swing adjustments we have made indoors this winter.”

Senior captains Natalie Mutaszak and Christine Brown came off a strong fall campaign, and Hamilton said the team will look for consistency and leadership from those two early on.

“I expect those two to be consistently low scorers,” Hamilton said. “And the rest of the team to be close behind for the support it takes to be a top 10 team in the nation.”

Matuszak and Brown averaged 82.8 and 84.9 strokes per round, respectively. Another key piece to the team is sophomore Doyle O’Brien, who only played in one tournament during the fall, but shot scores of 83 and 81 in her two rounds.

The Belles will start their season hoping to catch fire, as they travel to hot and sunny Phoenix, Ariz., for the Spring Kick-Off tournament starting March 16.

 

 

Contact Brendan Bell at bbell2@nd.edu