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SMC Golf: Belles second at jamboree

Casey Karnes | Thursday, October 3, 2013

Behind a strong performance from junior Janice Heffernan, the Belles finished second at the third MIAA jamboree at Thornapple Pointe Golf Club in Grand Rapids, Mich. A score of 340, kept Saint Mary’s in second place in the conference heading into the season’s final tournament this weekend at Zolner Golf Course in Angola, IN.

Heffernan tied for fourth place with a score of 80, which tied her season-best mark set last weekend at Milham Park. She trailed the leaders by one stroke, as three golfers tied for the individual lead with 79. 

Belles’ coach Kim Moore said she was impressed with Heffernan.

“I think [Heffernan] is having better consistency with her ball striking. It’s been pretty good lately,” Moore said. “She’s had a few bad shots here and there, but she’s been able to get up and down [the course] a lot more frequently as well, which should really help her scores.”

Heffernan’s season-best day was boosted by a score of 38 on the back nine holes, but even her late push was not enough to allow the Belles to keep up with Olivet. The Comets won their third straight jamboree with a score of 324.  Sophomore Brook Kastamo and senior Theresa Damico paced Olivet by each shooting a 79, and were two of the three golfers who tied for the individual lead. Trine sophomore Amy Worthington was the third co-leader. The Belles score of 340 was second best on the day, just ahead of Trine and the event’s hosts, Calvin, who scored 347 and 348, respectively. Moore says in order to close the gap on Olivet in the final MIAA jamboree, her team will have to cut down on their bad holes.

“I think we have to eliminate some [high scores],” Moore said. “Every round, we all have a bad hole here or there. I think if we eliminate those, we’ll be right there.”

While Heffernan has stepped up the past few rounds, the rest of the Belles’ lineup has been inconsistent. Senior Paige Pollak came into the third MIAA jamboree with an average score of 80.5, but shot an 85, her worst score of the season. It still tied her for eighth place, two spots behind sophomore Sammy Averill, who managed an 84 on the day. 

A pair of freshman, Ali Mahoney and Courtney Carlson, rounded out the Belles’ lineup. Mahoney shot a 91 and finished in 23rd place, while Carlson fell to 31st with a 94. Both golfers markedly improved on the back nine by shooting a 43, with Moore saying she was impressed with their resilience.

“Both of them played a little better, but it’s that same issue of a few bad balls here or there,” Moore said. “They had a bad nine, but they rebounded and came back on the other nine.”

The Belles face another fast turnaround for their final MIAA jamboree this weekend, with only two days off. Moore, however, is confident her team will be prepared.

“Friday we’ll leave for [Zolner] and play some holes in the afternoon, which I think will help.” Moore said. “It will really help get us get familiar with the golf course.”

The Belles will play their final MIAA regular season round Saturday at Zolner Golf Course.