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ND Women’s Golf

Irish ready for first tournament of fall

| Thursday, September 11, 2014

Just a little under a month into the new school year, the Irish kick off their season at the Mary Fossum Invitational this weekend at Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Michigan.

The tournament, hosted by Michigan State, is the first of four in which Notre Dame will compete this fall.

The invitational will be played out over three rounds — 36 holes Saturday and 18 holes Sunday — and Irish coach Susan Holt said she anticipates her team will compete over the course of all 54 holes, even in its first tournament.

“The expectation for all of our tournaments is to perform to the best of our ability and execute,” she said. “If we can do that, we will be in a position to win every time we compete.”

Notre Dame has played at the Mary Fossum Invitational in six of the last seven seasons, finishing third out of 15 teams in 2013, led by senior Ashley Armstrong’s tie for second place. The Irish also won the tournament in 2010.

“Everyone on the team has played this golf course multiple times and should feel comfortable and know what to expect,” Holt said. “I think a solid performance is very much in the cards. I know the team is excited to get the season started.”

While this is the first tournament of the year for the Irish, several members of the squad played in events over the summer. Sophomore Jordan Ferreia took 21st place at the Washington State Women’s Amateur in June by four shots, and freshman Kari Bellville won the Indiana State Junior Golf Championship by seven shots in the same month.

The entire team also took an eight-day tour of Ireland in August in which it golfed on several of the country’s top courses.

“There should be no major difficulties this weekend,” Holt said. “It is important to be ready to go from the first hole on Saturday and get off to a solid start to settle the nerves of it being the first event of the season. All of our players are seasoned competitors, so I see them being ready to go.”

This will be the first collegiate competition for two freshmen — Bellville and Alison Snakard. Holt said the two newcomers and their teammates have spent the last two weeks getting ready to head to East Lansing to get the season started.

“We have been doing short-game drills at each practice and playing on the course a lot,” she said. “I think doing both to the extent that we have should have us prepared to play.”

While the competition for the invitational is typically composed of both larger and smaller schools, Holt said Notre Dame is taking its season opener as seriously as the more competitive ACC tournaments in the spring.

“All of our tournaments are important, and no one is emphasized more than another as they have an impact our ranking,” she said. “It would be a great boost to the confidence to play well this week and pick up a win. Our schedule gets incrementally more challenging as the season rolls on.”

After a third-place finish last year, the Irish start their fall season at the Mary Fossum Invitational on Saturday and Sunday at the Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Michigan.

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