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ND Women’s Golf

ND looks to build upon success at Schooner Invite

| Thursday, October 2, 2014

After winning the Mary Fossum Invitational two weekends ago, the Irish will face a tougher challenge in their second tournament, this Saturday through Monday, when they travel to Norman, Oklahoma for the Schooner Fall Classic.

In the first tournament of the year, Notre Dame made a final-day push to close a seven-stroke deficit and overtake the lead from tournament host Michigan State, ultimately bringing home a first-place finish.

“Anytime you play another team’s home course, you’d better make sure you’re ready to play,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “We were able to do that, so that was a huge positive takeaway.”

The competition in this weekend’s Schooner Fall Classic will likely be a bit steeper — the 17-team field features No. 4 Arkansas, No. 14 LSU, No. 16 Central Florida and other top-50 teams.

“Looking ahead to this tournament and the tough field, this is the reality of how our schedule is going to play out the rest of the year,” Holt said. “It doesn’t get any easier from here on out.”

The field also boasts 14 international golfers from seven schools who are contestants in the 2014 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.

Holt, however, does not shy away from the impressive statistics of teams such as Arkansas, who beat out eight other top-25 teams and won its first tournament of the year at 18-under par.

“Teams like Arkansas and LSU and Texas A&M have been shooting under-par rounds, so we’re going to have to be ready to play,” she said. “But that being said, we’ve … had some under-par rounds as well [in practice], … so we’re heading in the right direction.

“The girls have gotten more acclimated, and we’re playing much better now than we were two weeks ago.”

In its win at the Mary Fossum Invitational, the team had its share of ups and downs, finishing at 49-over par after posting the best team score on the final 18 holes.

Holt said there was a lot of room for the Irish to sharpen up and minimize their mistakes, especially as they start to face tougher opponents. She added that she thinks the Irish have the talent to find success in the tournament and the season as a whole.

“We’re going in with the mindset to win,” Holt said, “But I think a top-five finish would be really solid and give us an idea of what we’re capable of this season.”

“It’ll be important to have balance in our scoring. You can’t rely just on any one player — everyone has to step up and be ready to play.”

The Irish will tee off at 8:30 a.m. Saturday to start their first of three rounds in this weekend’s Schooner Fall Classic, which runs from Saturday to Monday at the Belmar Golf Club in Norman, Oklahoma.

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