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SMC Golf: Invitational brings tough competition

Brendan Bell | Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Saint Mary’s will head south this weekend, where the Belles will compete in the Southwestern Invitational, trying to build off their opening performance at the Phoenix Invitational.

The Belles will look to expand on their depth and push more golfers to shoot in the low 80’s in the upcoming competition. St. Mary’s will travel to Berry Creek Country Club in Georgetown, Tex., to face a variety of highly competitive opponents, including No. 13 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Trinity University.

“We are competing against one top-10 team and two other teams currently ranked ahead of us. It will be a challenge playing the Texas teams in their own environment, but I expect our players to rise to the occasion and be very competitive,” Belles coach Mark Hamilton said. “We won the tournament in 2011, and I fully expect us to do the same this year.”

Saint Mary’s will look to use its familiarity with the course to gain an advantage over its opponents.

“It is a tight golf course with hard fairways and is similar in design to other courses we play,” Hamilton said. “It takes precision off the tee. Keep it in play, and you can make pars.”

With nearly a month off since their last competition, the Belles have taken the time to develop and fine-tune their play in preparation for the upcoming tournament.

“We have been able to get in quality range and course time to make the necessary adjustments,” Hamilton said.

Saint Mary’s started the season with a tough outing at the Phoenix Invitational in Arizona, in which the team finished behind George Fox University and the University of Washington St. Louis. However, the Belles took many positives from their spring break trip to Arizona, as senior captain Natalie Matuszak lead the way for the Belles and shot a team-low score of 79. Additionally, freshman Janice Heffernan and sophomore Paige Pollak both shot scores of 82 to give Matuszak support at the top of the leaderboard.

Saint Mary’s will compete at the Southwestern Invitational in an effort to defend its title, teeing off April 9 and continuing play through the 10th.

 

Contact Brendan Bell at bbell2@nd.edu