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ND Women’s Golf

Five return for Irish in 2014

| Tuesday, August 26, 2014

With a mixture of experience and promising young talent, the Irish prepare for what is likely to be a challenging but exciting tournament schedule for the fall.

The Notre Dame squad has already begun its 2014-15 campaign with an eight-day preseason trip to Ireland on Aug. 10-17, during which they played six rounds of golf at top-tier courses. The trip included a match play event against the Irish Women’s National Team at Tralee Golf Club, designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, which ended in a 3-3 tie. Irish coach Susan Holt said the trip was a great experience for her team.

“It was a lot of fun and a great event for us,” she said. “We were fortunate to have such an incredible opportunity.”

The regular season kicks off Sept. 13 and 14 with the Mary Fossum Invitational hosted by Michigan State. The Irish finished third in the tournament last year, including a second-place individual finish by two-time Academic All-American and senior captain Ashley Armstrong.

Holt said she is confident heading into the tournament that the Irish can start the year on the right foot.

“Everyone on the team has played the golf course and have played well the last few years,” Holt said. “We’re going in with the mindset to win and . . . get our season started on a really positive note.”

Notre Dame returns five golfers from last year’s team, which finished tied for fifth in the ACC championships and 18th in the NCAA West Regional tournament. The returners include Armstrong and sophomore Jordan Ferreira, the reigning Washington State Amateur champion and a 2014 U.S. Open qualifier.

“We’ve got some good veteran leadership returning and good freshmen coming in,” she said, the latter referring to Kari Bellville and Alison Snakard, the newest members of the Irish squad.

The Irish have three October tournaments to wrap up their fall season – the Schooner Fall Classic in Oklahoma, the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Tennessee and the Landfall Tradition in North Carolina. They will face strong opponents in every tournament, which Holt said she looks forward to but also recognizes as a major challenge.

“I think we have a great opportunity with our schedule to play some of the top teams in the country,” she said. “We’re going to have to be ready to compete tournament after tournament, and I think that will be the real challenge for us, for our players to step up and respond.”

Notre Dame returns to action in the spring with the Westbrook Spring Invitational on Feb. 22 and 23. They will also compete in the Clover Cup, the LSU Tiger Classic and the Bryan National Collegiate, all leading up to the ACC championships April 17-19 and potentially the NCAA Regional on May 7-9 and the NCAA Championship on May 22-27.

The Irish host the NCAA Regional at Warren Golf Course this year, giving them extra incentive to perform well in the ACC championships.

“That’s certainly going to be our motivation to play well this year and qualify for that tournament,” Holt said. “We’re excited to get started with the season, and we’re ready to go.”

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