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SMC Golf

Saint Mary’s stands in last after first round of MIAAs

| Wednesday, April 15, 2015

With a final score of 365, Saint Mary’s finished fourth out of four in the first round of MIAA qualifying tournament hosted by Olivet, which is a three-round tourney that decides which member of the conference will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

Sophomore Courtney Carlson had the best score out of all Belles golfers on the day, shooting an 81 to take sixth place in the individual standings. Freshman Kaitlyn Cartone shot a 91 to take 17th place individually. Junior Katie Zielinski shot a 94 to finish in a tie for 18th place individually. Freshman Kelsey Conkright shot a 99 to finish in a tie for 21st place with fellow freshman Belle Lydia Lorenc.

“I was very happy with the way that Courtney Carlson played today,” Belles head coach Kim Moore said. “She will be the first one to say that her ball striking wasn’t exactly the best today, but she did a great job of scrambling. Her 81 was our team’s best score and was her best round of the spring, so that was a positive from today’s round.

“One thing my team did was they hung in there and did a great job finishing. Two players, Kaitlyn Cartone and Katie Zielinski, both started the front nine with high scores, but played better on the back nine. There were too many big numbers today and that is what hurt the team, but they did a great job of forgetting a bad hole and moving on. No one strung consecutive bad holes together.”

Olivet finished in first place with a score of 323 score, Hope finished in second place with a score of 325, Trine finished in third place with a score of 343. Hope sophomore Britni Gielow was the best-performing individual of the day, shooting 76 to finish No. 1 overall.

Moore said there are several areas in which Saint Mary’s needs to improve in the next rounds.

“Our team needs to work on eliminating the big numbers, learning to play smart and work on some course management,” Moore said. “We work on our short game at every practice, but that is something that is always in need of work and we will continue to spend time in that area.

“Also, some of the players need to work on more consistent ball striking. Not always knowing where your ball will go can be hard on your confidence, which then starts to hurt your mental game. We need to take some time on the range this week and get some of that confidence back.

“We need to keep believing in ourselves and not settling or expecting those bad holes to come. This team is much better than some of the scores we have been shooting lately and it will be my job this week to help get them to transition their efforts and progress during practice onto the course.”

The Belles will have a chance to regain some ground Monday as they compete in the second round of the MIAA Conference Golf Course at Ravines Golf Club in Saugatuck, Michigan. The third round of the MIAA Tournament will take place April 25, and it will be then when the Belles find out if they will represent the conference in the NCAA tournament or not.

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