March 30, 2012
Athens, Ga. –
The Notre Dame women’s golf team fired an opening round of 13-over par 301 on Friday afternoon and is 12th in the 18-team field at the 40th Annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. The Irish trail tournament leader Alabama by 23 strokes as the Crimson Tide shot a 10-under par 278 for the first 18 holes. The tournament is being played on the par-72, 6,335-yard University of Georgia Golf Course.
Individually, the Irish were led by freshman Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.) who opened with an even-par 72 for her third round of par or better this spring. Starting on the tenth hole, Armstrong fired a birdie to open the tournament then bogeyed her second hole. She closed out the back nine with a birdie on 18 for a one-under par 36 through nine holes. Armstrong then played holes one through eight at even par before a bogey on nine closed out her day with the 72. She is currently tied for 16th and is six strokes behind the tournament leader.
The Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic features six teams ranked in this week’s Golfweek Top 25 and saw five teams navigate the course with under-par rounds on Friday. In second place, six strokes behind Alabama is Georgia as the Bulldogs opened with a four-under par 284. One behind them in third place is South Carolina with a three-under mark of 285. Florida is fourth with a two-under par 286 and Virginia rounds out the top five with a one-under par 287.
Notre Dame will enter Saturday’s second round just eight strokes behind Midwest rivals Kent State and Purdue as those two teams are tied for sixth with five-over totals of 293. Michigan State is tied for eighth, just five ahead of the Irish with a 296.
Alabama got off to its strong start behind the play of Jennifer Kirby and Brooke Pancake who are first and second respectively after 18 holes. Kirby has a two-stroke lead over Pancake after shooting a six-under par 66 to tie the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic record set by Brittany Lang of Duke in 2004. Those two lead a field of 24 golfers to shoot even par or better after one round.
Three golfers are tied for third – Georgia’s Kiara Hayashida, Florida’s Camilla Hedberg and South Carolina’s Amanda Strang – and are three strokes behind Kirby with three-under par 69s. That threesome is followed by five golfers who round out the top 10 with two-under par totals of 70.
Armstrong is among a group of nine other golfers tied for 16th with the even-par mark of 72.
Both golfers were one-over par on their first nine holes (the back nine at the University of Georgia Golf Course) and then three-over on the front for their 76 marks.
One stroke behind Huffer and Oride in a tie for 61st in the field of 90 golfers are senior Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz.) and sophomore Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif.) as they both shot rounds of five-over par 77.
Allare was +2 for her first nine holes and was three-over on the back nine while Nhim was one-under for her opening nine and had four bogeys on her second nine holes for her 77.
Notre Dame’s second round of the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic will start on Saturday morning at 10:40 on the 10th tee with Allare. Nhim will tee off at 10:50 with Oride at 11:00 a.m., Huffer at 11:10 and Armstrong rounding out the group with an 11:20 tee time. Sunday’s final round is scheduled for a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start.
TEAM RESULTS (18-hole totals): 1. Alabama 278; 2. Georgia 284; 3. South Carolina 285; 4. Florida 286; 5. Virginia 287; t6. Kent State 293; Purdue 293; t8. Florida State 296; Oklahoma 296; Michigan State 296; 11. Auburn 297; 12. Notre Dame 301; 13. Wake Forest 302; t15. Missouri 305; Arkansas 305; 17. Georgia (B): 308; 18. Augusta State 311.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 90): 1. Jennifer Kirby (Alabama) 66; 2. Brooke Pancake (Alabama) 68; t3. Kiara Hayashida (Georgia B) 69; Camilla Hedberg (Florida) 69; Amanda Strang (South Carolina) 69; t6. Brittany Altomare (Virginia) 70; Emilie Burger (Georgia) 70; Katie Burnett (South Carolina) 70; Laura Gonzalez (Purdue) 70; Marta Silva Zamora (Georgia) 70.