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SMC Golf: Belles enthused for competition in Saint Louis

A.J. Godeaux | Friday, April 5, 2013

After a sixth-place finish at the George Fox Phoenix Invitational from March 14-16, Saint Mary’s will look to improve this weekend at the Washington University-St. Louis Invitational.

The invitational will be a new experience for the Belles because they did not participate in the inaugural tournament last year.

Belles coach Jason Kolean said the team’s focus is simply on getting better, especially this early in the season.

“We’re looking to improve on our previous scores,” he said. “We have continued to put in quality time and effort and hope to see positive results.”

Though the Belles finished last at the Phoenix Invitational after digging themselves a hole they could not climb out of after the first day, they managed to cut 24 strokes on day two. Junior Paige Pollak had the strongest showing, shooting 83 and 77, the lowest rounds each day for the Belles. All six golfers cut strokes off their scores from day one to day two.

The Belles’ stiffest competition this weekend will likely come from the tournament hosts, No. 2 Washington University. The Bears finished second at the Phoenix Invitational, 35 shots clear of the Belles. However, the teams shot an identical 322 on the second day of the event. No. 5 DePauw will also present a strong challenge for the Belles.

Despite the strong competition the team will face this weekend, Kolean said the team is not discouraged.

“We have a group of highly motivated girls, who are excited to play against the top teams in the nation,” he said.

The two-day tournament starts Saturday at Gateway National Golf Links in Madison, Ill.

Contact A.J. Godeaux at agodeaux@nd.edu