Belles optimistic after first spring tournament
Tony Zappia | Friday, March 18, 2016
Saint Mary’s traveled to Peoria, Arizona to participate in the George Fox Invitational held at Westbrook Village Golf Course on Saturday and Sunday.
The Belles combined to shoot a 90-over-par 658 to finish eighth out of the eight participating teams over the two-day tournament. The winning team, George Fox University, finished 65 shots ahead of Saint Mary’s with a 28-over-par 596. Saint Mary’s head coach Kim Moore was optimistic about the Belles’ performance at the George Fox Invitational, though.
“I would say I thought it was a success,” Moore said. “I know we didn’t finish very high, but this tournament was mainly for us to get a chance to practice and play outside. The competition at this event was very strong and the majority of the teams had opportunities to play outside before arriving, and we did not. Our overall team score was better than last year at this time, and we had some very respectable scores on a course that played a little longer then we were used to at 5,940 yards.
“ … Obviously, there were shots left out there and not everyone played their best, but we are looking forward to the next couple weeks of practice and getting prepared for our next event in St. Louis.”
The two day tournament was the first event of the spring season for the Belles who are looking to improve on a fourth place finish in the MIAA conference last season. Freshman Taylor Kehoe, an important part of the team’s success in the fall season averaging the third-best 18-hole score on the team, led the way for the Belles posting a first round 10-over-par 81 and a second round eight-over-par 79 putting her in a tie for 21st place individually. Junior captain Ali Mahoney finished second for the Belles with scores of nine-over-par 80 and 14-over-par 85. Junior captain Courtney Carlson rounded out the Belles lineup with an overall score of 24-over-par 166, while seniors Katie Zielinski and Sammie Averill hit 29-over-par 171s. Sophomores Kelsey Conkright, Isabella Speedon and Courtney Quinlan also participated as individual players. Conkright carded her collegiate best on Sunday, posting a 79 on the final day of the tournament.
The Belles have three more tournaments before entering into competition for the MIAA’s automatic bid to nationals.
The Belles’ next tournament, the St. Louis Invitational hosted by Washington University, will take place at the beginning of April at Gateway National Golf Links where the Belles will look to bounce back against another solid field.