April 21, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 26 University of Notre Dame women’s golf team turned in an opening round score of a six-over-par 294 Sunday afternoon at the 2013 BIG EAST Championship, good for second place in the eight-team field. The three-day conference tournament (April 21-23) is being held at the Reunion Resort and Golf Club’s par-72 Tom Watson Course (6,124 yards).
The Fighting Irish (2012 BIG EAST Championship runner-up) are vying for their fifth conference title since 2003.
The University of Louisville currently leads the tournament with a one-under-par 287. Notre Dame held off third-place Seton Hall (301/+13) by seven strokes. St. Johns and Rutgers are tied for fourth finished with a 16-over-par 304. South Florida and Georgetown (T7) each ended the day with a 17-over-par 305.
St. John’s Harin Lee currently leads the field of 40 competitors with a two-under-par 70.
“This course lived up to what I have said it would do before as being an equalizer for a lot of golfers,” says Irish head coach Susan Holt. “We ran into some trouble on the front nine, but performed better on the back. I was proud of Kristina (Nhim) as she was up and down today and really battled through the tough holes. I was pleased to see Lindsey (Weaver) shoot one-under and return to playing great golf. Ashley(Armstrong) and Kelli (Oride) each were over par early and pulled together great efforts on the closing holes. I thought we could have capitalized on birdie opportunities better than we did. We just need to clean a few things up tomorrow and play a bit more aggressive. If we do that we should be fine.”
The Irish were well under the field average of 76.30 for round one as Notre Dame combined for a 74.20 between the five active roster members.
Freshman Lindsey Weaver (Scottsdale, Ariz.) who ranks No. 16 in the nation, is currently tied for second on the leaderboard after carding a one-under-par 71.
Weaver parred her first two holes and shot one-over on the first par 3 (hole 4, 386 yards). She then recorded two more straight pars before a bogey on the sixth hole. The freshman went on to par the remaining three holes to finish two-over at the end of the first nine.
Weaver found a rhythm on the closing nine holes as she fired par or better for a three-under-par 33 to improve by five strokes from the front. She then made birdie on hole 11 (par 4, 307 yards), hole 16 (par 4, 368 yards) and hole 17 (par 5, 472 yards. The freshman additionally shot par or better on each of the four five par 5 holes on the course.
Freshman Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas) concluded her round carding an even-par 72 to tie for sixth.
The Irish rookie parred her first six holes before making birdie on hole seven (par 3-124 yards). Campbell found the bottom of the cup in six shots on the hole eight (par 5- 499 yards) and made par on the ninth hole (par 4, 360 yards) to leger an even-par scorecard through the first nine holes.
Campbell made birdie on the hole 11 and 17. The freshman matched her even-par score on the back. The freshman parred holes 12 through 15 and finished with 13 pars on the day.
Junior Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif.) finished her day out with a two-over-par 74, good for 11th place. It was her best round of golf this year during the first round tying her effort at the Mary Fossum Invitational (Sept. 15).
Nhim began her opening round with three birdies through the first five holes. After bogeying holes six and seven, the junior made par the final two holes to give her a nine-hole total of a one-over-par 37.
She continued her impressive play on the remaining nine holes surrendering the lone bogey on hole 11, parring the remaining seven straight holes. The junior has recorded a sixth place (’12) and third place (2011) in her two previous BIG EAST outings.
Sophomore Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii) concluded her first day with a five-over-par 77 (t-22nd), the best first round score she has registered since October 2012 during The Landfall Tradition.
Oride finished five-over-par 71 through the first nine holes acquiring three pars through that stint. Her game became alive on the back nine as she made birdie on holes 11 and 17. The sophomore posted an even-par score on the back nine, parring holes 12 through 16.
Defending tournament champion, sophomore Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.), concluded her opening day with a five-over-par 77 (t-22nd). After surrendering two double bogeys on holes two (par 4, 303 yards) and six (par 4, 301 yards) the sophomore parred the next four holes.
Armstrong was perfect on the back nine parring all nine holes she faced. Armstrong parred every par 3 and par 5 through the 18 holes played. The sophomore tied for the most pars with 15, while Campbell and Weaver each gathered 13.
Weaver tied for first in par 4 scoring (-1) while Campbell tied for second in par 3 scoring (-1).
Notre Dame will tee off from hole one tomorrow between 9:40-10:20 a.m. for the second day of the BIG EAST Championship. Follow UND.com for a full recap on each day’s outing.
TEAMS: 1. Louisville 287 (-1), 2. Notre Dame 294 (+6), 3. Seton Hall 301 (+13), 4. St. John’s 302 (+14), T5. Cincinnati 304 (+16), T5. Rutgers 304 (+16), T7. South Florida 305 (+17), T7. Georgetown 305 (+17)
INDIVIDUALS (Top-5): 1. Harin Lee (St. John’s) 70/-2, T2. Lindsey Weaver 71/-1), T2. Tara Lyons (Louisville) 71/-1, T2. Katie Petrino (Louisville) 71/-1, Hannah Basalone (Seton Hall) 71/-1