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ND Women’s Golf: Huffer leads the way for Irish in Florida

John Helms | Tuesday, February 23, 2010

After a few months spent practicing in the Rolfs Golf Facility, the Irish are happy to be competing in the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla., in a two-day event at the River Wilderness Country Club. Notre Dame came out of Monday’s competition in 11th after two rounds of play.

In Monday morning’s first round, the Irish opened with a 310 and followed with a 308 in the afternoon. Sophomore Becca Huffer leads the Irish with a 149 two-round total, 5-over par, to place her in 14th overall.

Going into the competition, the Irish were excited about the chance to play outside again.

“It’s been a while since we’ve actually gotten to play golf,” Irish coach Susan Holt told und.com. “I think the biggest thing is getting back out there and starting to hit some shots and feel comfortable again.”

Notre Dame has not competed in an event since the Alamo Invitational in October 2009, the finale of a fall season that was characterized by improvement.

“We made a lot of great strides. We got off to a horrible start at Michigan State,” Holt told und.com. “But they went out and got better every time they competed.”

The Irish are not starting off their spring season easy. The Central District Invitational involves 15 teams, seven of which are ranked in the Golfstat Top 25.

Florida leads the field at 5-under par, followed by TCU at 15 over. Notre Dame is one of a group of 10 teams grouped within 16 shots of one another between 27-and 43-over par.

“I think we are really looking to just get comfortable again,” Holt said.

The first tournament of the spring season has characteristically been a tough one for the Irish, as the team has had a tough time starting with a solid round and typically performs better as the year progresses. But this year may be different for Notre Dame.

“I think the girls realize what’s ahead of them,” Holt said. “We don’t have time with our schedule to come lollygagging out. They need to come out ready to play.”

The Irish came out with the same lineup with which they ended the fall season, including Huffer, senior co-captains Annie Brophy and Kristin Wetzel and juniors Katie Conway and So-Hyun Park.

“We have a lot of experience which I think will really benefit us in this spring season,” Holt said.

The Irish will conclude their play in the Central District Invitational today as they hope to improve upon Monday’s performance.