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ND Women’s Golf: Irish secure conference title after strong rally

Greg Hadley | Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Down seven shots to Louisville after Sunday’s first round of the Big East championship at Reunion Resort and Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., the Irish faced the possibility of a disappointing tournament finish after a strong regular season. 

However, the team methodically rallied back to take the conference title and set a Big East championship record for total team score at a six-under-par 861. 

With the win, the Irish claim their fifth conference championship in program history and third under coach Susan Holt. Notre Dame finished 14 strokes ahead of the second place Cardinals and more than 40 shots better than third place St. John’s, which shot a total of 904.

Holt said she was especially proud of how her team did not let the championship competition disrupt its focus. 

“I’m proud of how well the team responded to the first round,” Holt said. “They played great, stayed focused and didn’t get wrapped up in trying to beat the competition.”

The Irish got stronger as the tournament progressed, posting their best score of the year, 282, in Tuesday’s final round. 

Holt credited her golfers’ determination and poise for Notre Dame’s performance.

Leading the charge for the Irish were freshmen Lindsey Weaver and Talia Campbell, who each ended the tournament at six-under-par and were declared individual co-champions. Their final scores of 210 strokes also broke the Big East championship individual record by three shots.

Not far behind was sophomore Ashley Armstrong, who bounced back from a five-over-par first round to shoot two-under in her final round, vaulting her from 13th to fifth. Junior Kristina Nhim and sophomore Kelli Oride also had strong tournaments, as they finished tied for eight and 14th, respectively.

“Lindsey and Talia played great, but it was a team effort,” Holt said. “Everyone did a great job of playing the golf course, which was giving up low scores. I didn’t have to talk to them about their play going into final round. We only talked after the first round to regroup a bit and stay focused.”

Although Holt said she enjoyed the victory, she said she is already focusing on the road ahead, which starts with May’s NCAA regionals.

“We had a list of goals coming into the season,” Holt said. “Winning the conference was one of our main goals. The next big one is advancing to the NCAA finals. We definitely should be in the regionals, based on our ranking, so we’re excited to see where we go and [want to] try to get in the top eight.”

The Irish will next compete at the NCAA regionals, which will take place from May 9-11. If the squad advances, it will compete in the NCAA finals, which will be held in Athens, Ga., beginning May 22.

Contact Greg Hadley at ghadley@nd.edu