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SMC Golf: O’Brien leads squad to NCAA’s

Brendan Bell | Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In the first round of the MIAA tournament and NCAA qualifier, Saint Mary’s sophomore Doyle O’Brien continued her dominance on the links, placing first overall with a score of 71 to pull the Belles into first in the four-team field.

O’Brien’s 71 led the rest of the field by six strokes, and sparked the Belles’ first-round score of 324, which was 21 shots better than second-place Olivet.

It was not just O’Brien contributing for the Belles, as Saint Mary’s placed four total golfers in the top-10. O’Brien has now shot the lowest score for Saint Mary’s in the last three outings.

Following behind O’Brien for second place was sophomore Paige Pollak, who shot a 77.

Belles senior captain Natalie Matuszak and freshman Janice Heffernan tied for eighth place, both shooting an 88. After playing some challenging courses in the past few weeks, the Belles recorded a team score of 324, the lowest single-day performance of the season for Saint Mary’s.

With momentum in the right direction and the Belles peaking at the right time, Saint Mary’s has now secured a strong lead over its three competitors in the MIAA conference tournament.

Whichever school wins the tournament after two more rounds of competition will qualify for the upcoming NCAA championships, set to take place at Zollner Golf Club in Angola, Ind.

The Belles visited Zollner Golf Club in the fall, where they shot a collective score of 342. Now, Saint Mary’s is revamped, with a new set of golfers that did not compete in the fall season.

The Belles will travel to Marshall, Mich., for the second round of the NCAA qualifiers, holding a 21 stroke lead over Olivet.

Saint Mary’s will tee off at Medalist Golf Club starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 27.


Contact Brendan Bell at bbell2@nd.edu