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Saint Mary’s sits in seventh place in own tournament

Mary Green | Monday, September 16, 2013


After a rainy first day of play Sunday at the Warren Golf Course, the host Belles sit in seventh place out of nine schools in the O’Brien National Invitational with a team score of 333.

Senior Paige Pollak shot an 80 to lead the team, while sophomore Sammie Averill finished one stroke behind her at 81. Rounding out the Saint Mary’s quintet were senior Alexi Brown with an 85, junior Janice Heffernan with an 87 and freshman Ali Mahoney with a 91.

Coach Kim Moore said the performances of Pollak and Averill especially impressed her in the opening round.

“We had a pretty consistent round for our No. 1, Paige Pollak,” she said. “But our No. 5, Sammie Averill, really stepped up today and shot an 81, so I’m pleased with that score.”

Among the Saint Mary’s golfers competing outside the team competition in the individual bracket, freshman Emmie Schultz shot an 88 to tie for 33rd place out of 60 golfers. Three of her teammates followed, with sophomore Katie Zielinski at 89, freshman Rachel Kim at 92 and freshman Courtney Carlson at 107.

No. 3 DePauw stands in first place with a team score of 316, and No. 8 Centre and No. 22 Olivet finish out the top three after shooting 323 and 327, respectively.

Moore noted this year’s Saint Mary’s scores were a little higher than they were after the first round of last year’s tournament, but she said the less-than-ideal conditions in the rain probably had some effect on how her team did.

With better weather forecasted for tomorrow, Moore said she hopes the Belles will be able to correct the mistakes they made Sunday to make a run at a solid team finish Monday.

“I think a little course management will go a long way, if they can really work on where to leave their shots,” she said. “It looked like they were really putting them in some troublesome spots today. And short game is always important as well. If they can get up and down, it doesn’t really matter where you hit the ball.”

Although the Belles have hosted the O’Brien National Invitational since 2009 at the Warren Golf Course, the course is not actually their home course. The team regularly practices at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend, but many Saint Mary’s golfers are still familiar with the play at Warren.

“Most of the players have played [Warren] a few times because of this tournament,” she said. “They’re familiar with the layout and some of the yardages, but it’s definitely a challenging course as well.”

The Belles will see if any of their prior experience with the course comes in handy tomorrow as they finish out the second of two rounds in the O’Brien National Invitational. The first group tees off at 8:30 a.m. at the Warren Golf Course.

Contact Mary Green at mgreen8@nd.edu