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ND Women’s Golf: Armstrong leads Irish to top

Kit Loughran | Wednesday, March 27, 2013

 

Competing in the tournament as the highest-ranked team, the Irish pulled through to win the Briar’s Creek Invitational in John’s Island, S.C., on Tuesday.

The No. 23 Irish won the invitational with a 42-over-par score of 906 (317-300-289).  

“We entered this tournament hoping to win as the highest ranked team,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “And we did.” 

This victory marked the 32nd tournament title in the program’s history. 

Sophomore Ashley Armstrong led the Irish and for the second consecutive week earned medalist honors with a one-over-par score of 217 (74-71-72). 

Considering such a strong finish, the Irish had a rocky start in the first round Monday. The Irish finished in seventh place with a 29-over-par score of 317. The first day of the tournament was scheduled as a 36-hole day, but because of rainy weather, play was suspended. In the first 12 holes played of the second round, the Irish advanced to a three-way tie for first place before play was suspended. 

Holt said the weather significantly affected play. 

Though the first round proved somewhat challenging for the Irish, the team still shot under the stroke average of 81.4 through the opening 18 holes. 

Armstrong landed herself in third place with a two-over-par score of 74 after the first 18 holes. Freshman Lindsey Weaver ended the first round with a nine-over-par score of 81, which put her in 43rd place overall. She moved up to 31st with a three-over-par score of 52 after the first 12 holes played in the second round. 

The second day of play proved much more successful for the Irish as they completed the remaining six holes of the second round and the total 18 holes of the third round. The Irish fended off both Maryland (914) by eight strokes and Coastal Carolina (916) by 10 strokes, who finished second and third, respectively. 

The second day of the tournament was another challenging day of play for the team, but the whole team came to play, Holt said. 

“The second day was another long day after the first,” Holt said. “But the girls really showed up and played well.” 

Holt complemented Armstrong on her exceptional finishes in the recent tournaments. 

“Ashley has played extremely well with these back-to-back wins,” Holt said. 

Armstrong finished three strokes ahead of runner-up Laura Wearn of Furman (77-76-67-220) and four strokes ahead of third place finisher Brittany Henderson of Coastal Carolina (71-74-76-221). 

Holt said junior Kristina Nhim and sophomore Kelli Oride both came out strong on the second day and significantly helped the Irish finish in first place. 

“We needed Kristina and Kelli to go out there and play well,” Holt said. “They both really stepped it up.” 

Nhim shot an 18-over-par 234 (83-78-73), while Oride finished the tournament with a 16-over-par 232 (83-78-71). 

As a whole team, the Irish played collectively and with shared team effort, Holt said. 

“We had some great team effort,” Holt said. “The biggest thing to take away from this tournament as a team is the good play we had today on the course.” 

The Irish will finish their regular season at the DAC/SMU Invitational in Dallas from April 5 to 7 and then look to the Big East championship from April 21 to 23 in Orlando, Fla. 

Contact Kit Loughran at kloughr1@nd.edu