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ND Women’s Golf

Holt praises squad’s growth ahead of Schooner Fall Classic

| Thursday, September 17, 2015

Following a season-opening victory at the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Michigan, the Irish travel to Norman, Oklahoma this weekend to compete in the third annual Schooner Fall Classic, held at Belmar Golf Club.

The Irish tied for eighth a year ago when they played the tournament, and Irish head coach Susan Holt took away a lot of positives from the team’s season opener as the Irish look forward to a return to Oklahoma.

“Overall, we played pretty steadily,” Holt said. “There were a couple of blips, but I thought they managed themselves and their games well, which is always encouraging to see.”

Holt said her team managed the game well last weekend, but also noted there was room for improvement when her players put themselves in good positions.

“We had probably four occasions where we had girls under par, which is always encouraging,” Holt said.  “They just have to get comfortable staying there.”

Senior captain Talia Campbell said the field at the Schooner Fall Classic will be more difficult than the field the team encountered last weekend. The field this weekend is nearly unforgiving, featuring ACC rival Florida State as well as Big 12 schools Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Kansas. SEC foes Texas A&M and defending champion Mississippi State round out the “power five” teams the Irish will face in the tournament.

“Overall the field is a lot stronger, with teams from the Big 12 and SEC, so it should be a good tournament to see where we stand,” Campbell said.

Holt said Campbell has adjusted well to the return to the links after the summer, with her second-place finish last weekend evidence of that. Holt said the Irish have connected well in the first few weeks of the season, and team chemistry is at a good point headed into the weekend.

“I’m very happy with where we’re at,” Holt said. “I had a lot of fun traveling with them, and the team dynamic is really good,” she said. “There is a lot of respect amongst them. Individually they’re good players, but as a collective they have a lot of potential and they’re starting to see that. Everyone’s in a good place right now.”

While the Irish had a senior leader in Campbell at the top of the scorecard last weekend, they also had a pair of freshmen contributing — Isabella DiLisio finished tied for fifth while Maddie Rose Hamilton finished tied for 11th. Despite the duo’s freshman status, Campbell said her teammates shared the same vision for the season.

“All of us are very competitive and have the same goals [to make it to NCAAs], so being aligned with regards to that transcends class years,” Campbell said.

The Irish look to continue their strong start to the season Saturday at the Schooner Fall Classic, teeing off at 9 a.m. at Belmar Golf Club. Play will continue in the three-day tournament Sunday and Monday.

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