July 30, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Less than a month before she sets foot on the University of Notre Dame campus for her freshman year, golfer Maddie Rose Hamilton (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) is showing the maturity of a poised veteran.
In one of her final junior-level tournaments, Hamilton posted a 1-2-1 record and recorded 1.5 points for the East Team at the 26th annual American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Wyndham Cup that concluded Thursday at the Old Town Club in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The West Team ended up winning the three-day match play tournament, 27.5-22.5, to retain the Wyndham Cup for the third straight year. The event features 10 boys and 10 girls per team, with players selected based on the AJGA/Polo Golf Rankings, which reward top finishes in national junior golf tournaments.
“I thought Maddie competed well all three days,” Notre Dame head women’s golf coach Susan Holt said. “This was a challenging environment with some of the best players in the country and Maddie showed some exceptional toughness and fight. I also liked the way she carried herself throughout the tournament, managing the course, staying positive and keeping her composure. Those are all lessons that will be really valuable for her as she transitions to the college level.”
Hamilton was solid in all four matches she played at her first Wyndham Cup, starting with a 3 & 2 victory in Tuesday’s opening four-ball match. Hamilton and University of Tennessee incoming freshman Shannon Brooks carded three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine to take command and defeat Cheyenne Knight and Kaitlyn Papp. Hamilton and Brooks wound up five-under par through 16 holes while claiming an early victory for the East Team.
Hamilton then returned for an afternoon mixed foursome match with Liberty University incoming freshman Gabriel Lench. The pair fell to Matthew Wolff and Alyaa Abdulghany, 4 & 3 after giving up three holes midway through the round, but did wind up just two-over par when the match was conceded on the 15th green.
Hamilton helped pick up a key half-point for the East during Wednesday morning’s foursomes, joining Emilia Migliaccio to halve their back-and-forth match against Xinying Wang and Youngin Chun. The half-point was one of three the East earned Wednesday morning, as the West took the lead for good in the team competition.
Hamilton finished her Wyndham Cup debut with a hard-fought 2 & 1 loss to Papp in their singles match on Thursday morning. Hamilton posted a strong round and was at even-par through 17 holes, but Papp chipped in on No. 1 to take the lead and twice Hamilton carded birdies, only to see her opponent do likewise and halve the hole. Hamilton battled back and was one-down after a birdie on No. 12, but a bogey on the next hole gave Papp the cushion she needed to hold off the Fighting Irish rookie.
“Maddie just ran into a buzzsaw in that last match,” Holt said. “She put herself in great positions all day, but her opponent made some even better shots, including that chip-in on No. 1. That can be a challenge to your mental state, and so can making birdies that don’t end up winning the hole. I thought Maddie handled it really well and she showed some tremendous fight to get back into the match after going three-down after eight.”
Hamilton earned her East Team roster spot at the Wyndham Cup by rising as high as No. 31 in the nation in the AJGA/Polo Golf Rankings, thanks to a 2015 season that featured five top-10 finishes in six AJGA tournaments. Among her summer highlights, Hamilton won the AJGA Music City Junior on June 1, placed second at the Under Armour/Jeff Overton Championship hosted by Otter Creek on June 29 and finished fifth at the AJGA/Rolex Tournament of Champions on June 22.
The Fighting Irish will have three starters (all-Atlantic Coast Conference senior Talia Campbell, junior Jordan Ferreira and sophomore Kari Bellville) and five veterans returning next season. Hamilton and fellow incoming freshmen Emma Albrecht (an alternate for this year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur) and Isabella DiLisio (a member of the 2015 U.S. Junior World Cup Team) will join the fold next month, making up a rookie class that features three of the nation’s top 50 players in the Class of 2015, something only one other school in the country (the University of Georgia) can match.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s golf program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s golf Twitter pages (@NDsidMasters or @NDwomensGolf) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
– Chris Masters, Athletic Communications Associate Director