SMC Golf: Belles win tournament round
Brendan Bell | Sunday, October 7, 2012
At the Adrian Jamboree, Saint Mary’s won the fourth of six MIAA tournament rounds, compiling a score of 345 at Lenawee Country Club in Adrian, Mich.
Belles coach Mark Hamilton said the Belles were able to win this weekend because of a combination of Saint Mary’s depth and ability to play under tough conditions.
“We are deeper than the rest of the conference and it is getting to be a battle to be in the top five on our roster,” Hamilton said. “We are also looking for some players to separate themselves and shoot under 80 in the future.”
Saint Mary’s had the smallest spread between its golfers out of any team in the competition. Belles freshman Amanda Graham shot a team-low score of 85. Junior Justine Bresnahan followed close behind Graham with a round of 86 while freshman Claire Boyle and sophomore Janice Heffernan both turned in rounds of 87.
Rounding out the top five for the Belles was junior Alexi Brown, who scored a 91. The six-stroke difference between the first and fifth finishers for the Belles gave them the edge over rivals Calvin College and Hope College. Calvin finished with a score of 348, three strokes behind Saint Mary’s, and Hope had a team score of 350.
Relative to the first three rounds of conference play, the average scores for each team were much higher during the fourth round on Saturday. Saint Mary’s winning round of 345 compared to the three prior rounds, which were won with scores of 320, 324 and 329. Hamilton said that the high scores were due to a combination of the course and the weather on Saturday.
“Weather played a part, as the greens were faster and hard to put on,” Hamilton said. “It was tough to play for the first time due to the blind shots and dog-legs, as well. We were able to persevere, though, and play better under those conditions than the rest of the conference.”
After earning their first tournament victory of the season, the Belles transition into their final two tournament rounds next weekend. Saint Mary’s is peaking at the right time, as the Belles have the most critical point of their schedule remaining as the MIAA End of Season Jamboree wraps up the conference play. The Belles will travel to Bedford Valley Country Club in Battle Creek, Mich., on Friday and Saturday for a two-day event. Hamilton said that with the Belles in the mix of the standings, back to back days of competition will give Saint Mary’s a chance to rise up the standings quickly.
“Our goal this weekend was to make up 10 strokes on the first place school in the conference and we did that,” Hamilton said. “Now we need to be able to do that two more days and it will give us a chance to win the tournament.”
The first golfers will tee off Friday 10 a.m. at Bedford Valley Country Club, as the Belles will finish up the fall season and MIAA play.
Contact Brendan Bell at email@example.com