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ND Women’s Golf: Golfers head to Oklahoma

By Isaac Lorton | Thursday, October 11, 2012

Coming off a successful showing at the Windy City Collegiate Classic, the No. 17 Irish are back at full strength and prepared to take on the competition at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic hosted by No. 14 Oklahoma.

The Irish were without sophomore Ashley Armstrong, 2012 Big East Rookie of the Year and Big East tournament champion, in the Windy City Classic due to a right foot injury. This time around, Notre Dame will have one of its top players back.

“Ashley has been cleared by our training staff,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “She will be competing this weekend. Her coming back will add instant depth to the lineup. It will take the pressure off the four other girls. We were playing at a disadvantage last time, but [Armstrong] is a very positive addition.”

The field of the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic consists of seven top-50 teams in addition to the Irish. Notre Dame’s toughest competition will be Oklahoma and No. 15 Texas Tech, Holt said. The Red Raiders finished eighth in the Windy City Collegiate Classic, right behind the Irish, in the Windy City Classic.

“Last tournament, the field was extremely strong,” Holt said. “This time, I think we have a really good opportunity to come away with a win. If you look at current rankings, we are probably a favorite to win.”

However, Holt said she expects a significant challenge from the Sooners.

“Oklahoma will be really tough at home,” Holt said. “It will take a lot to overcome [its] home-field advantage.”

An Irish player winning the tournament is also possible, Holt said. Armstrong, Irish sophomore Kelli Oride and freshmen Lindsey Weaver – who finished second at the Windy City Classic – and Talia Campbell are all candidates to win the tournament, she said.

“Any of our players are capable of winning any tournament we play in,” Holt said. “[Campbell] has been playing very well and consistently and [Oride] has been solid. [Oride] has had a good start and came back from her summer playing well. We have a team of solid competitors. That’s what makes us so strong.”

The Irish head down to Norman, Okla., to begin competition Monday as they search for their first tournament win of the season.

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu