April 1, 2012
Athens, Ga. –
The Notre Dame women’s golf team wrapped up play on Sunday afternoon at the 40th Liz Murphy Collegiate Classic by shooting an 11-over par 299 to finish with a 54-hole total of 28-over par 892 to finish 10th in a field of 18 teams. The 892 total was the lowest three-round total of the season for the Irish and their best mark since an 888 at the John Kirk Panther Invitational March 21-22, 2011.
Freshman Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.) paced Notre Dame all weekend and shot a two-over par 74 on Sunday to give her a three-round total of even-par 216 and tied her for 13th in a field of 90. In all, 14 golfers finished the tournament with par or better scores led by tournament winner Jennifer Kirby of Alabama who finished seven strokes ahead of Armstrong with a seven-under par total of 209.
Armstrong, who opened with rounds of 72 and 70 on Friday and Saturday, bogeyed her first two holes as she started the shotgun start on the par 5 seventh. She then proceeded to birdie 10, 13 and 17 before a double bogey on the par 5 18th put her one over for the day. She closed out her final six holes with a bogey on five for the two-over 74. For the rookie from Illinois, the even-par 216 was her best finish of the season as was the tie for 13th place.
As a team, the Irish finished 38 strokes behind second-ranked Alabama, as the Crimson Tide was 10-under par for the weekend with an 854 total. They would finish 12 strokes ahead of tournament host Georgia, as the Bulldogs were two-over par for the weekend with an 866 final total. They finished a stroke ahead of Florida (867) while Virginia (873) and South Carolina (875) closed out the tournament’s top five finishers.
The Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic featured 13 teams ranked among the top 50 teams in the nation and the Irish were able to finish better than five of them.
Following Armstrong on the scorecard was sophomore Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif.) who shot a two-over par 74 in her final round and tied for 29th in the tournament with a six-over par total of 222. She had two birdies and four bogeys on her card for the day. The six-over par 222 was the best score of the season for Nhim who has now had two strong back-to-back tournaments, shooting an eight-over 224 at the Notre Dame Clover Cup Tournament two weeks ago.
Senior Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo.) was third among the Irish fivesome two strokes behind Nhim with an eight-over par 224 after shooting a three-over 75 in Sunday’s final round. That tied her for 40th in the field.
Freshman Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii) finished in a tie for 59th with her 54-hole total of 14-over par 230. Oride shot a 76 on Friday, a 78 on Saturday and closed out the tournament with four-over par 76 for her 230 on Sunday.
Notre Dame’s fifth golfer, senior Katie Allare (Phoeniz, Ariz.) tied for 78th with a 235 total after rounds of 77, 81 and 77 to round out the Irish lineup.
Individually, Alabam’s Kirby won the tournament by one stroke over Purdue’s Laura Gonzalez who was six-under par with a 210 total. She entered the final round tied for second one stroke behind but could only equal Kirby’s final round 71. Arkansas’ Emily Tubert and Georgia’s Marta Silva Zamora tied for third, two strokes off the pace with five-under par totals of 211. South Carolina’s Katie Burnett was all alone in fifth with a four-under par total of 212 and four golfers – Virginia’s Brittany Altomare, Florida’s Evan Jensen and the Alabama duo of Stephanie Meadow and Brooke Pancake tied for sixth with three-under par marks of 213.
The Irish will now return home and will be off until Sunday, April 22 when they travel to Orlando, Fla. to participate in the BIG EAST Championship at the Reunion Resort and Golf Club. The 54-hole tournament will run from April 22-24. Notre Dame will look to defend its 2011 BIG EAST Championship in this year’s 54-hole event.
TEAM RESULTS (54-hole totals): 1. Alabama 278-287-289-854; 2. Georgia 284-289-293-866; 3. Florida 286-298-283-867; 4. Virginia 287-297-289-873; 5. South Carolina 285-292-298-975; 6. Purdue 293-289-296-878; 7. Auburn 297-292-290-879; 8. Michigan State 296-291-294-881; 9. Arkansas 305-291-290-886; 10. Notre Dame 301-292-299-892; 11. Oklahoma 296-304-295-895; 12. Wake Forest 302-297-297-896; 13. Florida State 296-304-297-897; 14. Kent State 293-306-302-901; 15. Denver 303-305-299-907; 16. Augusta State 311-308-303-922; 17. Missouri 305-310-310-925; 18. Georgia (B): 308-316-311-935.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 90): 1. Jennifer Kirby (Alabama) 66-72-71-209; 2. Laura Gonzalez (Purdue) 70-69-71-210; t3. Emily Tubert (Arkansas) 72-20-69-211; Marta Silva Zamora (Georgia) 70-69-72-211; 5. Katie Burnett (South Carolina) 70-70-72-212; t6. Brooke Pancake (Alabama) 68-72-73-213; Evan Jensen (Florida) 71-70-72-213; Brittany Altomare (Virginia) 70-71-72-213; Stephanie Meadow (Alabama) 71-71-71-213; t10. Meredith Swanson (South Carolina) 71-69-74-214; Camilla Hedberg (Florida) 69-75-70-214.