ND Women’s Golf
Notre Dame to begin season at Schooner Classic
Tobias Hoonhout | Thursday, September 22, 2016
Following a year of ups and downs, the Irish begin their 2016-2017 campaign in a big way this weekend down in Oklahoma for the Schooner Fall Classic after finishing 10th in the ACC last season.
Notre Dame finds themselves amongst a strong field of teams from around the country, including Texas A&M, Iowa State, Kent State and Alabama. The Irish placed fifth in the Classic last year, as Oklahoma State won the event. Despite losing top golfer and former captain Talia Campbell from last year, head coach Susan Holt is relishing the opportunity to get back on the course.
“We’re excited to get started,” Holt said. “This is the latest we have waited to compete in the fall since I’ve been here, so yeah we’re excited to get out and start playing in some tournaments. … It’s just a really good field. This early in the year I think it’s hard to say who the team to beat is — everybody has had turnover and have freshmen coming into the lineup so I think every tournament we play in we’re trying to win and be competitive and see what we can do.”
Last year, the Irish performed very well at the Schooner Classic, shooting a two-day score of 1-under-par 567 — marking only the third time in school history that Notre Dame finished a tournament below par. But the Irish have a big hole to fill in their starting five with the departure of Campbell, and for Holt, that task falls to the whole team.
“I don’t think its fair to put it on any one person,” Holt said. “We’ve got a lot of talent and a lot of depth on our team, and I think it’s going to fall on everybody to elevate their game a little bit. I think if across the board we can do that, if everybody saves one or two shots a round, we’re going to be in a really good spot.”
The starting lineup for this weekend is led by sophomore Emma Albrecht, who had a noteworthy freshman season, finishing 24th at the NCAA regional championship in May. Following her are fellow sophomores Isabella DiLisio and Maddie Rose Hamilton, and senior Jordan Ferreira. Rounding out the group is freshman Mia Ayer, who in high school was twice a second-team all-state selection in Texas. Junior Alison Snakard is also participating in the individual competition. With an all-around effort, Coach Holt thinks the team will perform well.
“This course is a lot of fun to play, it certainly lends itself to low scoring based on how the course is set up,” Holt said. “There’s a lot of risk–reward with this golf course, and you just have to pick and choose your battles; when to be aggressive, and when to be maybe a little bit smarter. I think that’s the biggest challenge of this course, managing the course well and playing to the strengths of your own game. So it’s good that four of our top five have played the golf course before — I think that’s always a plus — and they’ll certainly help Mia and Alison get a little better feel of how the course is going to play by just the knowledge that other players can share with them.”
The tournament takes place from Saturday through Monday at Belmar Golf Club in Norman, Oklahoma.