Belles win weekend tournament by 16 strokes
Connor Mulvena | Wednesday, September 11, 2019
The Saint Mary’s golf team won the Kyle Campbell Invitational Friday and Saturday, shooting a total score of 639, handing the Belles the victory by 16 strokes. The invitational, hosted by Olivet College at The Medalist Golf Club in Marshall, Michigan, featured a field of 12 teams including No. 6 DePauw, who finished in second behind the College.
Junior Hunter Kehoe shot a 77 Saturday, which gave her a two-day score of 151, as she led the field in par-five scoring and pars made over 36 holes of play with 27 pars. Sophomore Sydney Hruskoci matched Kehoe’s Saturday 77, which left her with a total score of 161. Hruskoci would finish tied for sixth overall in the contest.
Head coach Kim Moore said she was impressed she by Kehoe’s performance, along with the performances of three freshmen the team brought to the tournament.
“I was really happy for our junior, Hunter Kehoe,” Moore said. “She was the tournament medalist in a very strong field. It’s something I expect from her and I know she expects from herself. I was also very impressed by the individuals we brought to the tournament. These three were all incoming freshmen who [had] never played this course and had a strong showing overall. Freshmen Erin Bennett and MacKenzie Weaver both finished in the top 25 playing as individuals, which makes me excited for their potential going forward.”
The Belles will begin MIAA play next week, so such a victory serves as a significant confidence boost for the team at this time of the season, according to Moore.
“Any victory going into tournament play is huge for our confidence,” she said. “However, this victory was even more important because seven out of our nine MIAA conference schools were in the field. Knowing that we have the ability to come out on top in a field like that is great for our attitude going into the heart of our season. However, we know that we still have to play our game, to achieve the goals we set forth for our team this fall.”
Despite the victory, however, Moore said there is room for improvement. She said there are some things the team can take away from the weekend regardless of how the invitational ended.
“I would like us to eliminate some of the penalties we had from this past weekend,” she said. “The Medalist … has some tricky holes, and if you are not careful, penalties can happen, which lead to higher scores. We doubled the amount of penalties as a team from our first tournament to this past weekend, so I would like to see that statistic change. I would also like to see more putts fall this weekend. I just think we need to develop our feel for the green speeds a little quicker. We need to use the first couple holes to really focus on our stroke and feel, which will in turn help us out later in the rounds.”
In any case, such a victory serves as a good omen for a Belles team looking to capture a conference title in the upcoming year, but Moore said it can be difficult to maintain a high level of play on a daily basis.
“Golf is an extremely fickle game — you can have your A game sometimes and then it can change in an instant,” she said. “I feel the biggest way to maintain our high level of play is to develop unconditional confidence within each player. Regardless of a bad shot, bad hole or bad round, we can’t let that affect our mentality towards the next shot, hole or round. We have to trust that our preparation in practice is getting us ready to perform our best in competition. We have to continue challenging ourselves during practice, working on our weaknesses and reinforcing our strengths.”
The Belles will kick off MIAA play Saturday at the MIAA Jamboree #1 at the Pine River Country Club.