ND Women’s Golf
Irish place 10th in season-opening invitational
Liam Coolican | Thursday, September 12, 2019
The Notre Dame women’s golf team opened the season at the Minnesota Invitational tournament on Monday and Tuesday.
This was the third consecutive year the team has opened the season at this tournament, which is hosted by the University of Minnesota. It featured a challenging field of teams, including the 21st-ranked University of Georgia as well as the University of Kentucky, which won the tournament.
This year the Irish had two freshmen in their starting lineup: Lauren Beaudreau and Madelyn Jones, and a third, Jessica Meyers, who competed as an individual. Irish head coach Susan Holt, who is beginning her 14th year leading the team, was very happy with the freshmen’s performances.
“I thought our freshmen did great, I was really pleased with their performance,” Holt said. “I thought they adjusted well to the college game.”
Holt said she expects the trio to contribute immediately.
“Our team is small, so with the freshmen the expectation is that they’ll be in the lineup,” she said. “We are trying to not have any gaps in our performance from year to year, trying to bring in freshmen that are comparable to our graduating seniors.”
While the freshman hadn’t played the course before, some of the older golfers showed proof they were comfortable there. Sophomore Claire Albrecht shot a 72 in the first round, tying her career-best round from last season at the same tournament.
However, despite these strong performances, Notre Dame finished 10th in the 15-team field. Coach Holt was disappointed with the finish.
“We wanted to place better than we did,” she said. “Our goal is to finish in the top five of every tournament. We had some good individual performances, but with our sport we needed a lower score, and we just didn’t get it.”
Beaudreau led the way for the Irish, finishing 25th overall. Albrecht and Jones tied for 30th, junior Abby Heck finished in 46th place, Meyers finished tied for 67th and senior Mia Ayer placed 78th. Holt said she expects more from her players.
“We need everybody to step up and play, and we just didn’t get that this week from everybody,” she said.
Weather impacted play significantly during the tournament, with wind and rain creating tough conditions for the golfers. In addition, there were multiple lightning delays throughout the tournament, making it difficult for the players to get a rhythm.
Some of the first round play on Monday ended up being delayed until Tuesday, and the course was supposed to be three rounds of 18 holes each, but they could only finish two.
Despite this tournament not being as successful as she would have liked, Holt said she sees a lot of promise in her team moving forward.
“We’ve got a really talented bunch; first tournament, get it out of the way, move forward from here,” she said. “This certainly isn’t indicative of their abilities, I know they want to do well and compete, so they’ll be ready for the next challenge in a couple weeks. … The biggest thing is to continue the development of the players, if we do that, then we’ll be just fine.”
The Irish are preparing for the Schooner Fall Classic, hosted by the University of Oklahoma, on Sept. 27-29.