Oct. 27, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team closes out the fall portion of the 2011-12 season when they travel to Wilmington, N.C., to participate in the 10th annual Landfall Tradition Tournament hosted by the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The 54-hole tourney runs from Friday, Oct. 28 through Sunday, Oct. 30 and will be played at the Country Club of Landfall on the par-72, 6,208-year Jack Nicklaus Course. This is the second trip for the Irish to North Carolina as they visited Chapel Hill, N.C., on Oct. 7-9 to play in the Tar Heel Invitational at the University of North Carolina. Notre Dame will be looking to close out the fall schedule on a strong note after finishing second a week ago at the Hoosier Fall Invitational at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind. Senior Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo.) led the Irish by winning her first career tournament by three strokes with a four-over par 220. This weekend’s tournament will provide a strong challenge for the Irish as it features six of the nation’s top 25 teams led by top-five programs Auburn (No. 3) and North Carolina (No. 4) along with Duke (No. 12), North Carolina State (No. 16), Virginia (No. 23) and Ohio State (No. 25).
TOURNAMENT FACTS: Name: The Landfall Tradition (hosted by the University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Course: Jack Nicklaus Course (par 72, 6,208 yards) Country Club of Landfall (Wilmington, N.C.)
Field: 18 teams (2011 Golfweek/Sagarin rankings as of Oct. 23):
Auburn (3), North Carolina (4), Duke (12), North Carolina State (16), Virginia (23), Ohio State (25), Northwestern (28), Florida State (29), Mississippi (30), South Carolina (31), Michigan State (32), Iowa State (36), Wake Forest (45), Tulane (48), Purdue (52), Notre Dame (56), Chattanooga (62).
TOURNAMENT UPDATES: Live scoring for the tournament will be available at www.golfstat.com. Results also will be available on the University of North Carolina Wilmington website (www.UNCWsports.com) each day. Round-by-round recaps and everything you need to know about Notre Dame women’s golf will be available at und.com.
THE COURSE: The Jack Nicklaus Course at the Country Club of Landfall is playing host to the Landfall Tradition for the first time in the last three years as the Pete Dye Course hosted the last two events. In all, the par-72, 6,208-yard layout has hosted the Landfall Tradition six times in the 10-year history of the tournament.
WEATHER OUTLOOK: The weather forecast for Wilmington, N.C. and the Landfall Tradition tournament looks like this: Friday, Oct. 28 – Mostly Cloudy with a high of 60 degrees and 20% chance of rain. Saturday, Oct. 29 – Morning showers with a high of 58 degrees, 30% chance of rain. Sunday, Oct. 30 – Sunny, high of 60, 0% chance of rain.
LANDFALL TRADITION: This marks the 10th season for the Landfall Tradition and the Irish have participated three times – 2008-09, 2010-11 this season. In 2008, Notre Dame finished seventh in a 12-team field with a 927 total. Then freshman Becca Huffer was Notre Dame’s top finisher as she tied for 12th with a 228. Last season, the Irish finished sixth in an 18-team field with an 896 mark. Again, Huffer was the team’s top finisher as she was sixth with a two-over par score of 218.
LAST TIME OUT: The Irish traveled to Carmel, Ind., to participate in Hoosier Fall Invitational at Crooked Stick Golf Club and turned in their best performance of the fall as the squad finished second, just one stroke behind tournament winner Eastern Michigan. Notre Dame was led in the tournament by senior Becca Huffer who won her first career tournament, shooting a four-over par 220 to win the tournament by three shots over Wichita State’s Gretchen Huhnerkoch. As a team, the Irish shot 306-297-310 for a 913 total. Eastern Michigan shot a 912 with a 303-306-303 on the way to the win. Joining Huffer in the top five was freshman Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii) who tied for fourth overall with a 226 (78-73-74) for the top finish of her young career. Third among Notre Dame golfers was another freshman Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.) who led after two rounds but finished tied for 23rd with a 233 after rounds of 75-71-87. Senior Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz.) tied for 36th with a 238 (77-81-80) and Kristina Nhim (So., Cypress, Calif.) tied for 60th with a 249 (84-80-85).
WINNING: Becca Huffer’s tournament win at the Hoosier Fall Invitational marked the first time an Irish women’s golfer had won an individual tournament title since Nicole Zhang won at the Mary Fossum Invitational, Sept. 25-26, 2010. For Huffer, the finish was her best with the previous being a second-place finish at the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate, March 21-22, 2011.
THE COACH: Susan Holt is in her sixth season as the women’s golf coach at Notre Dame and her 22nd as a Division I head coach. She also served as head coach at Purdue University (1990-93) and the University of South Florida (1993-2006). In her first five seasons at Notre Dame, the Irish have won a pair of BIG EAST titles (2008 and 2011), made four NCAA regional appearances (2008, `09, `10, 11) and advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time last May (2011) where they finished 22nd overall. A two-time BIG EAST coach of the year (2008, 2011), Holt’s teams have turned in the top four team averages during her tenure. In 2010-11, the Irish turned in four, first-place finishes, including the 2011 BIG EAST championship. During the 2011-12 season, Notre Dame has a tie for ninth at the Golfweek Conference Challege at Vail, Colo., an 18th-place finish at the Tar Heel Invitational and a second at the Hoosier Fall Invitational.
IRISH LINEUP: Notre Dame’s five-person lineup includes: Becca Huffer (Sr., Denver, Colo.); Katie Allare (Sr., Phoenix, Ariz.), Kristina Nhim (So., Cypress, Calif.), Ashley Armstrong (Fr., Flossmoor, Ill.) and Kelli Oride (Fr., Lihue, Hawaii). Huffer is a three time all-BIG EAST selection who was second on the team in 2010-11 with a 74.97 stroke average. Her 75.13 average for her career is the second-lowest total in the program’s history. Allare saw action in six tournaments as a junior and has a 79.22 average for nine rounds this year. In her second season, Nhim has a 79.00 average through the first three tournaments after recording a 76.22 average as a rookie last year. She finished third at the BIG EAST Tournament last spring. Oride and Armstrong are in their first seasons at Notre Dame and have averages of 76.00 and 76.44 respectively in the first nine rounds of their careers.
ONE OF THE BEST: Golfweek Magazine has ranked the Notre Dame women’s golf team’s home course – The Warren Golf Course – as one of the top 15 college golf courses in the nation. To qualify for the Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses list, a course must be part of a school’s recreational life in terms of preferential access for students, faculty and alumni. Last year, Golfweek ranked the Warren Golf Course as the 14th-best college golf course. This year the home course of the Irish moved up two notches to 12th, passing the likes of the University of Michigan Golf Course and Duke University Golf Course. Co-designed by Bill Coore and PGA Tour veteran Ben Crenshaw, the Warren Golf Course opened on May 1, 2000 and has played host to three U.S. Amateur Championship qualifiers, the `05 and `10 men’s NCAA Central Regional, the `11 women’s NCAA Central Regional, three Western Amateur Championship qualifiers, five BIG EAST Conference Men’s Championships and three BIG EAST Women’s Championships.
THE CAPTAIN: Senior Becca Huffer will serve as the team’s captain for the 2011-12 season. A three-time all-BIG EAST selection, Huffer is coming off her best season at Notre Dame as she turned in four, top-10 finishes as a junior, including a career-best second-place finish at the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate last spring as she carded a five-under par 211 in leading the Irish to a tournament win. For the season, Huffer’s 74.97 stroke average was second on the team and the second lowest of her career. In 34 career tournaments, covering 100 rounds, the industrial design major owns a 75.14 career stroke average that is second best in the program’s history. During her Notre Dame golf career, Huffer has helped the Irish to a BIG EAST Championship in 2011 and two second-place finishes in 2009 and 2010. The 2009 BIG EAST rookie of the year, she had her best conference finish last season as she finished fourth overall with a seven-over par 223. Huffer has participated in three NCAA Regionals and in 2011 helped Notre Dame to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championship. As a junior in 2010-11, Huffer helped Notre Dame to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championships as the team finished fifth at the Central Regional and then 22nd in the NCAA Championships in Bryan, Tex. There, she was Notre Dame’s top finisher with a 72-hole total of eight-over par, 296.
NEW KIDS: Freshmen Ashley Armstrong and Kelli Oride begin their first seasons with the Irish but are no strangers to highly competitive golf. The duo brings impressive credentials to the Irish lineup. Armstrong is a two-time HP Scholastic Junior All-American and qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur this past summer. A top-five finisher in the Illinois Class AA golf championship in all four of her seasons at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, she was third in her senior season (2010). A four-time team MVP, Armstrong capped her summer of 2011 by winning the Women’s Western Amateur Tournament in July. Oride is a three-time state medalist and a two-time runner-up from Hawaii. She qualified as an alternate for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open Tournament. Oride was ranked 20th in Golfweek’s class of 2011 rankings while Armstrong was ranked 41st.
NEXT FOR THE IRISH: Falling the Landfall Tradition Tournament, Notre Dame is done for the fall part of the schedule and will return to action in the spring the week of March 2-4 when the Irish compete in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate hosted by the University of South Carolina at the Long Cove Golf Club in Hilton Head, S.C.