Junior Kelli Oride

Irish Head South For The Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship

Sept. 19, 2013

Round 1 Tee Times Get Acrobat Reader

The 17th annual Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship, hosted by the University of Tennessee, Sept. 20-22, Cherokee Country Club, Knoxville, Tenn.

The Cherokee Country Club was founded in 1907, and the club’s links style course was designed by famed architect Donald Ross. The par 71, 5,897-yard layout was completely restored in 2008 by Ron Pritchard.

The 54-hole stroke play tournament begins with the first wave of tee times Friday at 8:30 a.m. (ET). The first groups on both Saturday and Sunday will also take the golf course at approximately 8:30 a.m.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship features 11 teams that were either ranked or receiving votes in the Golf World Preseason Division I rankings. Joining host Tennessee and Notre Dame in the field is Arkansas, Campbell, Central Florida, College of Charleston, Louisville, Michigan, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, Penn State, Rollins College, South Carolina, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Texas-San Antonio and Tulane.

Results will be posted on the UND Athletic Department web site (www.UND.com) at the conclusion of play all weekend. Live tournament results can be found at golfstatresults.com.

Notre Dame travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., for the Tar Heel Invitational on Oct. 11-13 at the Finley Golf Course.

Notre Dame’s Kelli Oride’s Newfound Confidence Helping Team

By Staci Gasser

Kelli Oride’s last season wasn’t her best golf season.

Struggling on her swing, the Notre Dame junior golfer lacked the confidence she needed to produce quality shots. She was seeing scores she hadn’t seen since she was young.

“Last season was pretty rough,” Oride says. “I was pretty disappointed in how I played, knowing that I am a better player than that.”

But her unyielding drive, something she is known for both on and off the course, prevented her from sulking over it. Oride spent her entire summer working on her game, and although she still approaches each round with a conservative mentality, she attacks with a new type of confidence.

And that has shown in the first two tournaments of the year.

Oride shot a 79-71 (150) at the first tournament of this season, a 36-hole event hosted by Indiana University. Although the 79 included a 10 on the fourth hole, something that is tough to get at any point of the season, Oride handled it well.

At the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. less than a week later, Oride shot a 72-74-77 (223).

“I was disappointed with the 77. I made some mistakes that were costly,” Oride says. “I know if I saved a stroke here and there, I would’ve been right up there with the winner.”

Oride has grown as a player over the past couple of years and approaches a round much differently than before.

“It’s interesting that I can hit much better shots, but yet I’m playing much more conservative because I have the confidence in the ability to score better, if that makes sense,” she says.

Notre Dame women’s golf coach Susan Holt sees how hard Oride is on herself and knows the impact of what a little more confidence can do.

“I don’t think Kelli knows how good she really is,” Holt says. “I think all she needs sometimes is to have more confidence in herself. She puts a lot of pressure on herself. Just like any student-athlete – and I think this is across the board – if you come to Notre Dame, you are a perfectionist. This is a really hard game to be perfect at and the accountability always falls back on you. Kelli is really hard on herself, but she’s getting there.”

Oride started playing the game as a family affair when she was six years old. Her older brother, Cory Oride, played for the University of Hawaii, so it was only fitting for Kelli to follow suit; it just happened to be at a place much further away from home and much colder.

“I love the winter,” Oride, a Lihue, Hawaii native, said. “But I’m used to playing golf outside year-round.”

As a junior, Oride is long over the adjustment period, but she still finds the six-hour time difference difficult.

“It’s hard to call my parents, and some people can just hop on a plane or drive home on long weekends, Hawaiians [at Notre Dame], we get together and make local food for the familiarity.

“But I try not to let that affect me. I just focus on what I need to work on.”

When Oride walked onto Notre Dame’s campus in 2010, she instantly knew this was the place for her.

“It’s a place of good athletics, good academics, a place where I will grow and being with people who want me to succeed,” says the Mendoza College of Business finance major with a minor in sustainability. “All of my teammates are overachievers, so I’m put in an environment where we all want to succeed in both the classroom and on the course, and we support each other along the way.”

Having the support of her teammates constantly around her, Oride’s, confidence has been fueled more than ever before.

“After this last event, I feel this is something that is attainable and realistic for me to win individually and with the team,” Oride says. “With this new confidence, I’m excited for the whole year.”

Now she is going to work on more confidence in her putting. Oride knows she puts herself in good opportunities to score, so once she gets her putts to fall, that will be the deciding factor in her game.

“She had some good rounds this summer, and she’s been really solid since she’s been back,” Holt says. “I’m hoping that her success this summer and early success this season will carry on so she can gain more confidence and play more consistently.”