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ND Women’s Golf

ND wins first invitational of season

| Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Irish could not have gotten off to a better start to their season, finishing atop a 15-team field in the Mary Fossum Invitational at the Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Mich., in their first tournament of the season.

The winning Notre Dame performance included a fourth-place individual finish by junior Talia Campbell and a ninth-place finish by senior captain Ashley Armstrong. The Irish teed off Saturday, playing back-to-back 18-hole rounds, followed by another 18 holes Sunday.

After the first day of the Invitational, Notre Dame found itself in second place, seven strokes behind the tournament hosts, No. 20 Michigan State. The Irish boasted three top-ten golfers heading into the final 18 holes. Campbell was in fifth after rounds of 73 and 76, while Armstrong and sophomore Jordan Ferreira posted identical 78-73 marks and stood in ninth.

“After the first day, the girls felt good and knew they could play even better [than they did Saturday],” Irish coach Susan Holt said, “We totally went back out [Sunday] with the mindset to win.”

Leading the way in the final round was senior Kelli Oride, who struggled Saturday but posted a two-over-par 74 in her third round, which tied for the best score of any golfer Sunday.

“Kelli shooting 2-over [par] was huge,” Holt said. “I thought she played really well. The fact that everyone shot one round of 75 or below was great for us.”

Individually, Oride jumped from her spot at the beginning of the day in 40th to finish tied for 21st, shooting an overall 18-over-par 234 (82-78-74). Holt said that she was impressed with how everyone contributed to the win.

“It really takes the pressure off to know that everyone else is playing well, and that each person was just focusing on doing their part,” she said.

Included in this sentiment was the performance of freshman Kari Bellville, who shot a 23-over-par 239 (80-75-84) to finish tied for 41st in her first tournament for Notre Dame.

“I thought Keri stepped up played a really nice round yesterday afternoon for her first collegiate experience,” Holt said.

Armstrong and Ferreira contributed to the Irish victory with their consistently strong rounds, battling alongside their teammates through less-than-favorable conditions that included cool temperatures and strong breezes. Armstrong posted a final-round 77 to finish at 12-over-par 228 (73-76-77) in ninth place, while Ferreira’s 15-over-par 231 (73-76-80) was enough to tie for 13th place.

With strong play across the five-player roster, it was Campbell who ultimately led the way for the Irish, finishing at 9-over-par with rounds of 73-76-76, a score that put her in fourth out of 87 golfers in the field. The finish was Campbell’s best since her medal performance in the Big East championship as a freshman.

“Talia played really well in her qualifying, and I was really happy she continued to play as well as she did,” Holt said.

Holt said she was happy with how everyone stepped up and set a tone for the season, but she also said that each player knows they can continue to improve in one area or another.

“Moving forward we’ll see some ACC teams and Big 12 teams,” she said. “It will be a challenge and we’ll have to be ready for it.”

The Irish will play the second of their four fall tournaments on Oct. 4-6 when they travel to Belmar Golf Club in Norman, Oklahoma for the Schooner Fall Classic.

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