March 3, 2012
Hilton Head, S.C. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team opened the spring schedule on Friday afternoon and turned in an impressive 17-over par, 301, in the first 18 holes at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate. The round was the first competitive round for the Irish women since the end of October. The 301 puts Notre Dame in a tie for seventh place with TCU.
The tournament is being played on the par-71, 6,160-yard Long Cove Golf Club and is being hosted by the University of South Carolina.
Leading the Irish after round one is freshman Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.) who fired an opening round, two-over par 73 to jump start coach Susan Holt’s squad. That ties her for 10th overall with six other player and seven strokes off the individual lead.
As a team, the Irish trail second-ranked Alabama by 13 strokes as the Crimson Tide shot a four-over par 288 on the first day of action. Second place belongs to North Carolina as the Tar Heels trail Alabama by just four strokes with a 292 after the opening 18. Tied for third are three teams as Georgia, Central Florida and Virginia each opened with 297 totals. The Irish and TCU follow in seventh just four stokes out of the logjam at third.
The Darius Rucker Intercollegiate is in its first season and features 12 teams ranked in the top 50 in the country, including three top 10 squads – second-ranked Alabama, eighth-ranked Vanderbilt and 10th-ranked Georgia. The Irish open the spring ranked 52nd in the Golfweek rankings.
Armstrong opened with a double bogey on the first hole and then had just one bogey for the next 11 holes to be three over after 12 holes. She birdied the par 3 – 13th before a bogey at 14 dropped her back to three over. She closed with a birdie on 17 for a 39-34 on the way to her two-over 73.
Huffer started with four bogeys on the front nine to go with one birdie for a three-over 39 on the front before being even par (35) on the back with two birdies and a double bogey for her 74.
Nhim was the most consistent golfer for the Irish on the day as she shot 37-37 for her 74. She was one over for the front nine and two over on the back to finish among the top 16 golfers with her two teammates after 18 holes.
Senior Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz.) is fourth among the Notre Dame golfers with a nine-over par 80 and that has her tied for 65th while freshman Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii) got off to a slow start with an opening round 85 that has her ranked 79th in the tournament.
Leading Rucker Intercollegiate after 18 holes is Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow who welcomed in the spring with a nifty four-under par 67. She owns a four-stroke lead over Central Florida’s Monifa Sealy who had the only under par round of the tournament with a one-under 70. Three golfers shot even-par rounds of 71 – TCU’s Brooke Beeler, Alabama’s Brooke Pancake and Marta Silva Zamora of Georgia – to be just four strokes off the lead heading into Saturday’s second round. Armstrong is just six strokes off the pace set by Meadow while Huffer and Nhim are seven behind with 36 holes left on the docket.
Due to the threat of inclement weather on Saturday, the second 18 holes will begin at 9:00 am with a scramble format. Notre Dame’s contingent will begin play on holes 7-10 on Saturday as the tournament will look to get all 18 holes in before the weather hits the Hilton Head area.
TEAM RESULTS (18-hole totals): 1. Alabama 288; 2. North Carolina 292; t3. Georgia 297; Central Florida 297; Virginia 297; 6. Vanderbilt 299; t7. Notre Dame 301; TCU 301; 9. Wake Forest 302; 10. South Carolina 303; t11. Arkansas 305; Texas 305; Tennessee 305; 14. Coastal Carolina 307; 15. USC-Beaufort 327
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 81): 1. Stephanie Meadow (Alabama) 67; 2. Monifa Sealy (Central Florida) 70; t3. Brooke Beeler (TCU) 71; Brooke Pancake (Alabama) 71; Marta Silva Zamora (Georgia) 71; t6. Catherine O’Donnell (North Carolina) 72; Katherine Perry (North Carolina) 72; Emilie Burger (Georgia) 72; t10. Ashley Armstrong (Notre Dame) 73; Jessica Alexander (Coastal Carolina) 73; Emily Tubert (Arkansas) 73; Katie Mitchell (Central Florida) 73; Briana Mao (Virginia) 73; Brittany Altomare (Virginia) 73.