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O’Brien ties single round record

Chris Doyen | Monday, September 17, 2007

Senior captain Katie O’Brien once again led the way for the Belles in a tournament this weekend, but this time she set records.The Belles finished 15th in the 21-team field with a two-day score of 688 (+112) at the Illinois Wesleyan Fall Classic.O’Brien shot an 84 on Saturday and followed it up with a 74 on Sunday, giving her a total score of 158 (+14), good enough for 13th among all individuals in the tournament.Her 74 ties the record set by Stefanie Simmerman for the best round by a golfer in Saint Mary’s history. O’Brien’s record-tying performance comes on the heels of first-place individual finishes at each of the first two MIAA jamborees. The Dearborn, Mich. native was named to the MIAA All-Conference second team after last fall. She finished tied for 24th in the MIAA Tournament.O’Brien was 13 strokes off the pace of overall leader Katie Tewell of Franklin in this weekend’s contest.Southern Indiana finished first with a score of 619 (+43). Three of the top five individual scorers were Salukis. Rounding out the top five on the team leaderboard were SIU Edwardsville, Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Ambrose and host Illinois Wesleyan.The Belles ended round one in 17th place after shooting a team score of 355. The 22 -stroke improvement from Saturday to Sunday allowed Saint Mary’s to move up two more spots in the team standings.The Belles also had good performances from their freshman class to boost the team’s score. Freshman Michelle Hird had the second best score for the Belles, a 29-over-par 173. Her classmate Rosie O’Connor fired a 176 and Emily Gore shot a 184 to finish in fifth for Saint Mary’s. Junior Meredith Fantom shot a 183 to come in fourth place for the Belles, one stroke ahead of Gore.MIAA rival Olivet was also in the field. They placed sixth overall with an 81-over-par 657. After two MIAA jamborees, Saint Mary’s sits second in the conference standings, only 14 strokes behind Olivet. If O’Brien keeps up this level of play, the Belles should be able to make a run at Olivet in the coming weeks. The Belles will be back in action in the third MIAA jamboree of the season Sept. 25 at Alma.