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SMC Golf: Poor weather befuddles Belles

Peter Steiner | Monday, September 24, 2012

Playing their second MIAA conference round in rainy conditions, the Belles finished in fourth place in the Alma Jamboree on Saturday at Pine River Country Club in Alma, Mich.

Saint Mary’s turned in team score of 340, placing them 20 strokes behind first-place Olivet.

“We didn’t have our best day for whatever reason,” Belles coach Mark Hamilton said. “The conditions were a little difficult. The course wasn’t that hard. We had a lot of good shots, but couldn’t hit the ball up and down, for whatever reason, and ultimately that is what cost us.”

Freshmen Amanda Graham and Claire Boyle led the Belles, both shooting a score of 83 on the day. The remaining Belles starters all shot 87 to put the Belles 30 strokes ahead of fifth-place Alma.

“I think two of our freshmen played relatively well,” Hamilton said. “Amanda Graham and Claire Boyle gutted it out and had a pretty good performance yesterday. They played well and will continue to play well and get even better. They’ve got a lot of great things ahead of them.”

Wind and rain plagued the Jamboree all day Saturday, making great shots hard to come by. Despite the conditions, Hamilton knows they can’t use the rain as an excuse for poor play.

“It was cold and windy and on-and-off rain,” Hamilton said. “But the conditions are the same for everybody. We just didn’t handle it as well as some of the other players.”

Olivet finished first for the second straight conference round and the first two of six rounds in the fall. With a total score of 644, the Comets now lead the conference race by 28 strokes over next-closest team Hope. The Belles sit in fourth place behind Olivet, Hope and Calvin.

With four conference rounds remaining, the Belles know what aspect of the game they must improve.

“We are really hitting the ball quite well, hitting a great drive, hitting a great iron shot somewhere up by the green and then not converting,” Hamilton said. “If our up-and-down percentage goes up, our scoring average is going to drop pretty dramatically.”

The Belles will prepare this week to compete as they host the conference Jamboree on Wednesday at the Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend.

Contact Peter Steiner at [email protected]