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SMC Golf: Belles to compete in ‘Spring Fling’

Becki Dorner | Friday, April 7, 2006

Fresh off a tournament and a repeat win at Capital University’s Purple and White Invitational last Sunday, the Belles of the Saint Mary’s golf team look for continued success at the Illinois Wesleyan University Spring Fling in Normal, Ill. this weekend.

The Belles placed second out of 20 in last year’s tourney at IWU, scoring 305 and 310 on the first and second days, respectively. They finished 14 strokes behind winner DePauw University. Sarah Gates of DePauw and Maggie Loney of Wisconsin Eau-Claire both recorded totals of 144 to share the individual title.

This fall’s MIAA League MVP Megan Mattia of Saint Mary’s placed seventh individually last year, recording two five over par 77’s on the 5842 yard par 72 Ironwood Golf Club course. The team will look to her for leadership as the highest placing Belle returning to the tournament this year. The Belles will compete this year without their number three finisher Stefanie Simmerman and sixth place finisher Julia Adams, both of whom graduated from the team last year.

Nonetheless, many of the current Belles are very familiar with success at the Normal, Illinois course. At last year’s Spring Fling, Captain Kirsten Fantom carded a final round 85 and earned fifty-second place overall, and Katie O’Brien had a top round of.

“We have a positive outlook going into the upcoming tournament; we’re familiar with the course and we’ve played well there in the past,” Fantom said.

Mattia agreed.

“We have high expectations [for this tournament],” she said.

The Belles will face a very talented field in Normal. DePauw will return to defend their title and is ranked No. 2 nationally in Division III by the National Golf Coaches Association, and No. 3, just above Saint Mary’s, in the Golfstat.com rankings. Wisconsin Eau-Claire is on the upswing as well, only recording five losses in their fall season that totaled over thirty contests, and Illinois Wesleyan will look to avenge their defeat by the Belles on their home course last year.