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SMC Golf: Belles rise to 3rd in tourney

Meaghan Veselik | Monday, September 14, 2009

Saint Mary’s finished in third after the first day of the O’Brien National Invitational at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course Sunday. The No. 13 Belles shot a team score of 317 to finish ahead of six of the top teams in the country in the two-day meet.

“I am really excited about how the team performed today,” Saint Mary’s Captain Perri Hamma said. “When we started we were ranked 13th in the nation and were sitting behind all of these teams.”

Top-ranked defending national champion Methodist University leads the field with a team score of 303, followed six strokes behind by No. 5 Wisconsin-Eau Claire in second. No. 3 Gustavus Adolphus College and No. 7 Allegheny College are tied for fourth with scores of 326. No. 9 DePauw University sits in sixth at 330 while No. 4 Southwestern University followed three strokes behind in seventh. No. 8 Illinois Wesleyan held form in eighth by shooting a 334 and No. 6 Otterbein College rounded out the day, taking ninth with a score of 349.

Methodist’s Alana Swain is the individual leader with a 72. 15 of the competing golfers all shot below an 80 for the day.

Saint Mary’s top player, freshman Martyna Mierzwa, is tied for third with four other players after shooting a 76 for the first day. Junior Mary Kate Boyce sits three strokes behind Mierzwa with a 79 to take second for the Belles and 12th overall.

Sophomore Natalie Matuszak is presently in third for the team with a day one score of 80, giving her a share of 16th. Junior Rosie O’Connor trails Matuszak by two strokes with an 82, tying her for 23rd. Hamma closed the Belles’ scoring with a round of 88.

“I am extremely proud of a third place finish after day one, but we have a lot of improvement that can be made tomorrow,” Hamma said. “If we all play as smart as I know we are capable of then I know tomorrow will be a good day.”

The second and final round begins today at 8 a.m. at the Warren Golf Course.