ND Women’s Golf
Irish gear up for ACC championships
Maureen Schweninger | Friday, April 15, 2016
Notre Dame will face nine top-50 teams at the ACC Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina this weekend, as the Irish look to build on their fifth place finish at the Bryan National Collegiate.
Friday morning marks the first tee at Sedgefield Country Club, a course that also serves as an annual PGA Tour site. Irish head coach Susan Holt said she has been looking forward to this weekend as good weather is expected and the course is one the team has prepared for.
“Unfortunately, the weather at home hasn’t been cooperative,” Holt said. “But we’re having good practice time here. The greens are a lot faster than they have been the last few years. Our preparation really started two weeks ago when we went to Wake Forest. That golf course is very similar to this golf course, same terrain and grass, which is such an important factor in our game. The Wake Forest tournament was really good preparation for here.”
The team is set to break the previous school stroke average mark for the fourth time in the past six seasons with a 294.65 average, and looks to win its first conference title since 2013, when it won the Big East. The Irish have placed fifth and sixth at the ACC Championship in the last two years and Holt said the ACC has presented tough competition for her squad.
“Right now there are 10 of the 12 ACC teams ranked in the top 50,” Holt said. “There’s only one other conference that has as many and that’s the Pac-12. It’s super competitive. Nationally, we’re right at the top of the country as far as competitiveness.”
No. 5 Duke, No. 18 Virginia and No. 20 Florida State are among the most serious opponents Notre Dame will face at the tournament. The Irish lineup includes three freshmen and a senior captain, which makes this team stand out for Holt.
“We are much more young in our lineup,” Holt said. “We do have three players who haven’t seen this golf course until this week. I thought that the adjustments the freshmen made throughout the round were good. Talia [Campbell] and Jordan [Ferreira] have played on this course before and they have some experience, which should definitely play to their advantage.”
Senior captain Talia Campbell leads the team with a career-low 73.27 stroke average, the 10th-best in the conference this year. Campbell has been the top finisher for the Irish in all three of her last conference championships, and Holt believes she has the skill to do it again.
“Talia’s just a really solid player for us,” Holt said. “She’s a good ball striker; she hits a lot of quality golf shots and this golf course definitely demands that. She’s playing well right now, so if she can just get her putter going and capitalize off her good shots, I think she’ll do just fine.”
Emma Albrecht, Isabella DiLisio, and Maddie Rose Hamilton will also play for the Irish, all hailing from a freshmen class ranked third in the nation by Golfstat. Holt said she has faith that the whole team will rise to the challenge at this peak of the season.
“This is a very challenging course,” Holt said. “It’s a championship tour-quality golf course. It should be a real battle, but we’ve got good players and a good chance. We’re excited to see how it all plays out.”
The Irish will tee off in Greensboro on Friday morning for the three-day tournament.