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ND Women’s Golf: Irish carry momentum into conference champs

Isaac Lorton | Friday, April 20, 2012

Notre Dame is hoping to defend its 2011 Big East title as it heads down to Orlando, Fla., for the conference tournament. The Irish will play the Tom Watson-designed 6,319 yard, par-72 Reunion Golf course.

The Irish are ready for the tournament, and head into it with momentum on their side after their performance at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Ga., Irish coach Susan Holt said.

“We have had great practices the past few weeks in preparation,” Holt said. “The weather has been cooperative, we have practiced hard and we especially have confidence coming off of our finish in Georgia. We finished very well in a tough field.”

Notre Dame is the second-seed coming into the tournament, behind top-seed South Florida. However, the Irish have a lot going for them. Senior captain Becca Huffer will lead the Irish after finishing fourth last year. Huffer is looking to be named to the all-Big East team for the fourth-straight year.

Sophomore Kristina Nhim also comes into the event with strong experience in the tournament, having finished third last year. Freshmen Ashley Armstrong and Kelli Oride also bring experience into the Big East championships, having played the course before in junior national tournaments.

“I think it will help them, and it will also be beneficial for our team,” Holt said. “During our practice round on Saturday, the knowledge they have will be very helpful.”

Even with all of these advantages, Holt does not want the team to be thinking too far ahead.

“There are three teams that will be especially competitive,” Holt said. “South Florida is at 49, us at 50 and Louisville at 63 in the national rankings, but we are in a pretty good spot. All I will say is that the girls are excited, and I like our chances.”

Holt said the Irish hope to use potential upcoming victories to create a legacy that will be remembered in future years.

“As a collegiate golfer myself and after these years coaching, as you go through your golfing career, you will be remembered by your conference and NCAA championships,” Holt said. “You want to win as many as possible, and we hope to do that.”

The Irish will look to continue a winning legacy and defend their 2011 Big East championship with the first round starting Sunday in Orlando, Fla., at the Reunion Resort and Golf Club.

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu