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ND Women’s Golf: Irish travel to Chicago

Isaac Lorton | Monday, October 1, 2012

Coming off a third-place finish at the Mary Fossum Invitational at Michigan State, the No. 26 Irish take on their toughest competition yet at the Northwestern-hosted Windy City Collegiate Classic, held at the Glen View Club’s par-72 course established in 1897.

“It’s a great golf course,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “It’s an old-style golf course. We are excited and it should be fun.”

The tournament boasts four teams ranked in the top 25 according to Golfstat – No. 1 Texas Tech, No. 2 Washington, No. 6 Arizona and No. 19 UC-Davis. Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Northwestern are other tournament entries that were in Golfweek’s preseason top-30 rankings.

Notre Dame wants to see how it matches up against these teams, Holt said.

“It’s a great field,” Holt said. “It’s a process for us to go through in the fall. Every tournament we want the competition to get progressively harder, so we can prepare for spring. This field is better than at Michigan State, and hopefully the next tournament will be even better than this one.”

The Irish want to use this field as a way to gauge where they are at overall as a team, Holt said.

“This tournament will be a measuring stick for us,” Holt said. “We will be going against teams that are ranked better, at the same time, in the same tournament, under the same conditions head-to-head, and we will see what the difference is – if there’s any at all.”

Texas Tech, Washington and Arizona have fall tournament wins, with the two former shooting a team average of 71.65 and 71.05, respectively. Notre Dame is paired with Washington to start today and Holt said she sees this as an opportunity.

“Both Texas Tech and Washington are coming off of tournament wins where they posted team average scores below par,” Holt said. “We will be playing with Washington. Although it is only one tournament, [Washington] is a great team. We want to see how we do playing right along with them.”

With the fall’s first tournament behind them, the Irish should be in a better state to compete against this field, Holt said.

“Everybody should have first tournament jitters out of the way,” Holt said. “The freshmen especially should be more comfortable and relaxed. They are used to the college style of play now. We should have better rounds compared to Michigan State.”

In the past five years, under the leadership of Holt, the Irish have sought to become a perennial top-tier team in the nation and want to prove themselves today and tomorrow, Holt said.

“There are [four] teams ahead of us and there’s a group right behind us,” Holt said. “We want to find out how we compete in a field like this.”

The Irish begin competition this morning, with a second round later today in Glen View, Ill.

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu