ND Women’s Golf
Irish avoid last place finish at Illini Invitational
Jimmy Ward | Wednesday, October 9, 2019
The Notre Dame women’s golf team is trying to bounce back from a rough stretch of fall matches. The Irish finished 10th place at their first match of the season at the Minnesota Invitational on September 10th after weather cut the match short. Next, the Irish headed out to Oklahoma to compete at the 2019 Schooner Fall Classic where they would finish 14th out of 15 teams.
This week the Irish were able to avoid a last place finish at the 2019 Illini Women’s Invitational. At the end of the first round the Irish found themselves in 15th place with a team score of 25-over-par, but they were able to bounce back with solid second and third rounds that added up to a score of eight-over-par. They would finish the tournament at 33-over-par, which edged them past Wisconsin, who finished with a final score of 37-over-par.
Despite the shaky scores coming from the Irish early this season, they have had performances to look up to and strive towards at nearly all their matches. Junior Abby Heck and freshman Lauren Beaudreau had good showings at the Schooner Classic where they both shot scores of 66. Heck shot it in the third round and Beaudreau shot it in the second. However, both the girls still seemed to struggle throughout the Illini Invitational. Three of their combined six rounds went for scores of 78 on the par 72 course, and only Heck would be able to break below a 75 with a 74 in her third and final round.
Despite the lackluster performance there was one golfer that remained a constant throughout the tournament. Freshman Madelyn Jones had one of the best tournaments of her young collegiate career, shooting a 72 in the third round of the tournament. She finished in 28th place and was able to maintain her play throughout the tournament, picking up some of the slack left by her teammates. Jones shot a 74 in the first round and a 73 in the second, able to finish with a final score of 219, leaving her three-over-par, the leader in the clubhouse for the Irish by five strokes.
While the Irish haven’t been able to put together any good tournament runs thus far in their fall season, the team has had an array of individual performances that are of note. In addition to Heck and Beaudreau’s performances at the Schooner Classic, Jones also shot a career best round at the tournament with a 69 in the second round of the event.
The two non-scoring members of the Irish squad put up good rounds in the Illini Invitational, possibly due to the lack of pressure to produce quality scores. Senior Mia Ayer competed as an individual in the tournament and posted a final score of 224, matching the score of sophomore Claire Albrecht, while freshman Jessica Meyers was able to finish her final round with a total score of 228.
Next up for the Irish is the Texas State Jim West Challenge. The Irish will head down south to compete in San Marcos, Texas on October 20th and 21st at the Kissing Tree Golf Club. The event marks the conclusion to their fall season. The Irish will pick up match play again in late February and will be hoping to compete on their home course when NCAA Regionals starts up in the second week of May 2020.
In regards to her team’s recent performances, Irish head coach Susan Holt expressed confidence in the squad’s talent.
“We’re a young team, playing three freshman and one sophomore,” she said. “We just need to manage our games better because the talent is here. We are beating ourselves more than the competition is beating us. But we’re learning and growing each time out, which will pay dividends down the road.”