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SMC Golf: Belles take on familiar opponents in Jamboree

Becki Slinger | Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Saint Mary’s coach Mark Hamilton is looking for a little payback when the Belles compete in the MIAA Jamboree today at The Medalist Golf Club in Marshall, Mich.

Although Albion is hosting the tournament, Hamilton said the Britons aren’t the Belles main concern.

“Albion is a strong opponent, but Tri-State is our big competition,” Hamilton said. “They’ve beaten us twice so we are looking for a little revenge on them.”

Saint Mary’s will send six players to the 6,000 yard, par-72 course, and three of the golfers have played The Medalist before.

“In the past the course has given us some trouble,” Hamilton said, referring to the club’s layout.

He said that with good reason.

The Medalist course, features a hole that requires a tee shot over a hill and another hole, nicknamed “The Little Terror,” because it is bordered by wetlands. Sophomore co-captain Alex Sei said she must take the course one shot at a time.

“I can’t concentrate on the difficulties of the course,” she said. “I just need to focus on staying positive and staying on the fairways.”

After finishing 15th in their last event – the non-conference Ferris State Invitational – Hamilton says the Belles have a lot on their plates as they seek their fifth-consecutive MIAA championship in 2006.

“We are looking to hit more consistently and improve from last week,” Hamilton said.

Belles sophomore Katie McInerney said Saint Mary’s has a strong chance of placing at the top of the conference both this week and for the season.

“If the team continues to work as hard as we have been doing and can bring the individual and team aspects of golf together, we should win our conference again,” she said.

Hamilton said he is considering playing freshmen in this and upcoming events.

“The freshmen are improving every week,” he said. “They are still adjusting to playing at the college level but the team is very pleased with their progress.”

But for now, the Belles will have to concentrate on the task at hand, beating Tri-State and the seven other MIAA teams.

Sei believes the squad’s hard work will translate into an improved performance today.

“I’m going to focus on my game,” she said. “I’m not intimidated by any opponent. I’m just there to beat the course.”