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ND Women’s Golf

Albrecht continues to improve, contribute

| Thursday, October 3, 2019

Heading into her sophomore season, Claire Albrecht continues to provide consistency for the Irish.

Albrecht has been around golf her entire life, as her mother Annie golfed for the Wichita State Shockers. Annie would lead the Shockers to a Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference title in 1987, and she would go on to play at the professional level on the LPGA Futures Tour. Claire’s father Eric Albrecht, was a member of the James Madison University golf team for three years before he went on to serve as the vice president of marketing for the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Annie and Eric’s first born daughter Emma holds multiple Notre Dame school records. Claire’s older sister broke the single-season stroke average record with a 72.31 in the 2017-18 season, and she is Notre Dame’s leader in career stroke average with a 73.30. The two are the fifth pair of sisters to golf for Notre Dame, and the first pair since Katie (2006) and Annie Brophy (2010).

Ann Curtis | The Observer
Irish sophomore Claire Albrecht putts during an exhibition match at Warren Golf Course on Aug. 24.

Claire has not matched Emma quite yet, but she looks capable, as she shot a career best 72 in the final round of the Minnesota Invitational earlier this season. 

Head coach Susan Holt also believes Claire will soon be playing at a high level. 

“Claire, I actually pulled her off to the side yesterday after the tournament — she’s playing some great golf right now,” Holt said. “She is very capable. She had a really good fall last year and kind of just didn’t keep that pace into the spring. But she has kind of come back and is playing some really good golf right now, which I’m excited about. I think if she just continues to develop as a player and continues to learn every time she goes out and competes I think her progression will continue.” 

Holt commented on how Claire’s rich family history in golf has molded her into the golfer she is now.

“I think it has impacted her a lot,” she said. “I mean her sister Emma graduated last year, and she graduated as really the best player in the history of our program in terms of stroke average. … I think Claire certainly benefited from being on the team last year with her sister and getting to witness the work ethic that her sister had. I think she realizes that you get out of it what you put into it, and her sister is a great example of that.”

Claire consistently shoots in the mid to low 70s. If she continues at this rate, she could soon put herself in a position to chase down some of her sister’s records. With such a small roster heading into the 2019-20 season, Claire, as well as every other golfer on the squad, is guaranteed to see plenty of playing time.

“We do have a small team, but I think that benefits us as our player progress,” Holt said. “They are going to be competing and playing pretty much all the time. We have six players on our team this year, so every one of our players will be traveling to every single trip and competing until we get to the ACC tournament. I think it’s great. There’s nothing like competing and learning as you go. We’ve got a great group. They are a lot of fun to be around; they work really hard and they are super supportive of each other.” 

Claire may find motivation in those around her, Holt said. Her teammates, junior Abby Heck and freshman Lauren Beaudreau, both shot 66 in the second and third rounds respectively of the Schooner Classic this past weekend. There are many places the younger Albrecht can look to for inspiration, but Holt says the most important thing to look for is her trust in herself. 

“I think the biggest thing for Claire — and I think it is true for anyone that plays the sport of golf — is to have a belief in yourself and confidence in what you are doing and commitment,” she said. “Yesterday my message to all of our players was to make confident committed swings.” 

The next competition for the Irish is the Illinois Women’s Invitational, which will take place Monday and Tuesday at the Medinah Country Club in Chicago.

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About Jimmy Ward

Jimmy is a senior at Holy Cross College, where he studies English and sports management. He is originally from Westfield, Indiana. Currently, Jimmy serves as an associate sports editor at The Observer. You can find him at @jimmyyward on Twitter.

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