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ND Women’s Golf: Campbell seizes leadership role

Greg Hadley | Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sophomore Talia Campbell will look to continue her success after winning her first collegiate tournament at the Big East championship last year as the Irish move to the highly competitive ACC.

As a top-10 ranked recruit coming out of high school, Campbell formed one half of a potent freshman duo last year with Lindsey Weaver. Their success as a tandem culminated at the Big East championships, when Weaver and Campbell earned co-medalist honors and broke the championship record by three strokes. Without Weaver, who transferred back home to Arizona, Irish coach Susan Holt will look to Campbell to fulfill a leadership role as one of the top golfers on the team.

“She’s played a lot of competitive golf throughout her junior career and she’s a competitive person,” Holt said. “She’ll be able to provide a lot of leadership just through her work ethic and competitiveness. She’s a good role model.”

That competitiveness was on full display last year as Campbell played both the Big East championship and the NCAA regional round while ill with mononucleosis. Notre Dame still managed to lead the team to a conference title and finish tied for 15th at the regional round.

“I don’t think many people know this, but she was very sick towards the end of last year,” Holt said. “I think [the fact that she played] says a lot about her willingness to compete and be there for her team.”

This dedication has earned Campbell the respect and admiration of her teammates and coach, as well as a tight bond over long hours on the course.

“We all respect her as a person and as a player, for her hard work,” Holt said. “But we also say she can be a little sassy. She’s got a quick wit. Really, she’s fun to be around and we enjoy her company.”

Holt has high expectations for Campbell in the ACC as one of Notre Dame’s top returning golfers, along with junior Ashley Armstrong. Last year, Campbell improved her finish in each tournament until the NCAA regional. Campbell also earned all-Big East honors. This year, Holt is confident Campbell can continue that success.

“She had a great freshman year no doubt about it,” Holt said. “If she can just maintain her level of play and stay healthy, she’ll have a great year.”

Over the summer, Campbell played in the USGA Women’s Amateur Championship. After a tough first round, she rallied on Day Two to finish just one stroke short of the cut. Still, Campbell gained more experience in championship settings, which Holt thinks will serve Campbell well.
“There were a lot of positives to take away from that,” Holt said. “She got some tough breaks in the first round, but anytime you can play in a USGA event, that’s a great experience.”

Campbell and the Irish begin their fall season at the IU Fall Kickoff in Noblesville, Ind., on Sunday at the Purgatory Golf Club.

Contact Greg Hadley at [email protected]