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SMC Golf

Belles finish 13th at WUSTL Spring Invitational

| Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Saint Mary’s hit the links over the weekend in the WUSTL Spring Invitational at the Gateway National Golf Links in Madison, Illinois, finishing 13th.

The tournament featured nine teams ranked nationally in the top 25, including host and No. 3-ranked Washington University. The Belles, who posted a final score of 731, finished just two spots above the bottom team, a result Belles head coach Kim Moore attributes to the nature of the spring season.

“The spring season is always a bit of a struggle,” Moore said. “So the feel and technique needed to execute short game shots are usually off during the spring.”

The Belles still struggle to find time to practice outdoors — they practiced outdoors just twice in the two weeks before the invitational — making it more difficult to work on the team’s play.

The Belles also had another hurdle to overcome in Illinois, as the weather made it difficult to post good scores. Moore said while the weather on Saturday was playable, poor conditions on Sunday negatively impacted the team’s performance.

“[Saturday] it was cold, but not very windy so the conditions weren’t that bad,” Moore said. “However, we did not execute the way we should have so our scores struggled despite the good playing conditions.”

Sunday featured a tag-team combination of cold and wind – a golfer’s nightmare – and the Belles accordingly needed five more strokes to get through the round on the second day.

Saint Mary’s was led by first year Kaitlyn Cartone, who shot a two-day, 33-over 175 to finish tied for 51st amongst individuals. While Cartone had the low score Saturday, junior Katie Zielinski had the team’s best mark Sunday, shooting a 15-over 86 to cap her 56th-place finish.

Zielinski’s 86 followed a first-day 96, and Moore said she wanted to see more consistent performances from her team going forward.

“Hopefully over the next week or so we will have better practice conditions and we can work on that consistency,” Moore said.

The Belles see action next April 10-11 when they tee off in the Trine Spring Classic in Angola, Indiana.

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