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ND Women’s Golf: Irish open season at IU Fall Kickoff

Greg Hadley | Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fresh off a spring season in which they won the Big East title and placed 15th at NCAA regionals, the Irish open their fall season Sunday in Noblesville, Ind. at the IU Fall Kickoff. 

At the Kickoff, the Irish will face a field of entirely Midwestern teams that includes Xavier, Louisville, Cincinnati and host Indiana. 

Notre Dame’s main competition, though, will be Purdue. The Boilermakers finished third last year at the NCAA championships and are currently ranked fifth by Golfstat.com and 13th in the nation by Golf World heading into the fall season. The team is led by junior Aurora Kan, who placed 15th at the national championships last year and finished 16th at the 2013 USGA Women’s Amateur Championship. 

Leading the Irish will be sophomore Talia Campbell, who also played at the Amateur Championship. Although Campbell did not advance to match play, she did come just one stroke short of making the cut, and Irish coach Susan Holt thinks the experience will serve her well going into the Kickoff.

“She fought back well that last day and just missed the cut,” Holt said. “But I think there are still a lot of positives she can take away.”

Making their debut for the Irish are freshmen Jordan Ferreira and Janie Fineis. Holt believes both will make an immediate impact. 

“Both girls have played a lot of golf,” Holt said. “We need five scorers every tournament, so I think both will be very important for us this year.”

Thirty-six holes are scheduled for this single day event, making for an intense day of golf that Holt says will prepare her team well for the year ahead. 

“It’s a long season,” Holt said. “We want to get off to a good start because we face some good fields in the future.”

The forecast for Sunday calls for winds up to 10 miles per hour and temperatures in the mid-80s. Without any recent rain, the greens will be fast and unforgiving, Holt said. Still, it will be one of Notre Dame’s few chances to play above the Mason-Dixon line before the fall weather sets in. Holt, however, is not worried about her team’s preparation. 

“That’s what we have [the Rolfs Family All-Season Varsity Golf Facility] for,” Holt said. “They enhanced the facilities in the offseason, and I think it will help us prepare better.”

Overall, Holt sees the Kickoff as a launching point for the rest of a season that she hopes will end with another championship, this time in the ACC.

“No matter what, our goal is always to build toward a championship,” Holt said.

The Irish begin their fall season Sunday at the Purgatory Golf Course in Noblesville, Ind., at the IU Fall Kickoff.

Contact Greg Hadley at ghadley@nd.edu