ND Women’s Golf
Notre Dame kicks off spring season
Brian Plamondon | Thursday, February 13, 2014
No. 46 Notre Dame looks to get its spring season off on the right foot when it travels to Tallahassee, Fla., this weekend for the Florida State Match-Up.This unique tournament, played at the Fred Couples-designed Southwood Golf Club, features six schools that are each allowed to invite a partner school. After the three days of competition, the partners with the lowest score win the Match-Up championship. There are also team and individual championships.
“This is a unique format,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “We did it last year and had a lot of fun with it.”
The Irish will pair with No. 14 South Carolina in a field that also includes Florida State, Clemson, Virginia, Mississippi State, Kansas, Texas A&M, Florida Gulf Coast, Furman, Kansas State and Mercer. The scoring system is similar to a typical invitational, but instead of counting the top five scores for a team, the four best marks from each of the partners will make up the score for the Match-Up.
Leading the Irish in the Sunshine State will be junior Ashley Armstrong, who is coming off of a strong fall season. Armstrong carded a scoring average of 74.54 in 11 tournament rounds and tied for second at the Mary Fossum Invitational. The team will rely on Armstrong, a captain, to provide leadership, Holt said. So far in her career, Armstrong won the Big East Championship as a freshman and earned a spot in the U.S. Women’s Open that same year.
“Ashley is one of our stronger, more consistent performers,” Holt said. “[I’m looking] for her to do well.”
Armstrong leads the team in scoring average, but the Irish feature a balanced lineup. Four other players’ fall scoring averages are within two strokes of Armstrong. Junior Kelli Oride, sophomore Talia Campbell, freshman Jordan Ferreira and senior Kristina Nhim also all carded at least one top 20 during the fall season.
“Our depth is definitely our strength,” Holt said. “We just need to have four players show up every day. If we can do that, I think we’ll be very competitive every tournament.”
Holt, the 2013 Big East Coach of the Year, has guided the Irish to seven consecutive NCAA Regional appearances. In order to reach Regionals again, Holt said she is looking for consistency from her players.
“If we can be really sharp when we’re out there and not make careless mistakes, I think that [will put us in] really good shape for the season,” Holt said.
In preparing for the tournament this weekend, the Irish have spent most of their practice in the Rolfs Family All-Season Varsity Golf Facility due to the cold and snow. Two weeks ago, however, Holt and the team traveled to Orlando to practice outdoors. She said the girls are itching for the season to start.
“As a group, we’re just ready to get out and play some golf,” Holt said. “We’ve had enough of this snow, I can guarantee you that.”
The Irish begin their spring season Friday at Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla., at the Florida State Match-Up.