April 12, 2016

By Chris Masters

ACC Championship

April 15-17, 2016
Format: 54 holes (18 holes Friday-Sunday)
Tee Times: 9:40 a.m. ET Friday; 8-11:10 a.m. ET Saturday; 8:30-10 a.m. ET Sunday (begin on No. 1 Friday-Saturday; split-tee start Sunday) ââ’¬¦ exact Saturday and Sunday tee times determined by team standings at close of prior round
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Course (Par/Yardage): Sedgefield Country Club (par 72/6,089 yards)
TV: ESPN3 (2 p.m. ET Saturday; 1 p.m. ET Sunday)
Tournament Field (in order of latest Golfstat ranking): Duke (5), Virginia (18), Florida State (20), NOTRE DAME (37), North Carolina State (38), Louisville (39), Miami (40), Wake Forest (45), North Carolina (46), Clemson (47), Virginia Tech (101) and Boston College (158).
Notre Dame Lineup (2015-16 stroke average): Talia Campbell (73.27), Maddie Rose Hamilton (75.15), Isabella DiLisio (74.42), Emma Albrecht (74.23), Jordan Ferreira (75.38).
Live Scoring: Golfstat.com
Twitter: @NDwomensGolf

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Seven months after sticking the first tee in the ground on a cool late summer morning in Michigan, the University of Notre Dame women’s golf team now is in position to reap the benefits from the lessons it learned during the 2015-16 season.

The Fighting Irish arrive at one of the capstones of their campaign at 9:40 a.m (ET) Friday, when they tee off in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship at the historic Sedgefield Country Club (par 72/6,089 yards) in Greensboro, North Carolina. ESPN3 will provide live televised coverage during the final two rounds of the tournament, beginning at 2 p.m. (ET) Saturday and 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday.

The Fighting Irish have been a consensus top-40 program all year long (currently No. 37 according to Golfstat), winning two tournaments and placing in the top five in six of nine events this season, the fourth time in head coach Susan Holt’s 10-year tenure that Notre Dame has posted six top-five finishes in a single season.

Senior captain Talia Campbell has finished in the top 15 at the conference tournament each of her first three seasons at Notre Dame, including a tie for 11th place (215/-1) at last year’s ACC Championship.

What’s more, the Fighting Irish have compiled a 294.65 stroke average this year, nearly two strokes better than the program record (296.60) set last season. In fact, Notre Dame is on pace to surpass the previous school stroke average mark for the fourth time in the past six seasons and has lowered its single-season average by more than 10 strokes since Holt took over prior to the 2006-07 season.

Yet, for all the achievements the Fighting Irish have earned this year, postseason success holds the greatest reward. Notre Dame is seeking its first conference tournament title since 2013, when it won the last of five BIG EAST crowns, while the Fighting Irish also look to build upon mid-table finishes in their first two appearances at the ACC Championship (tied for fifth in 2014; sixth in 2015).

This year’s ACC field is particularly strong, with more than three-quarters (10) of the 12 teams in the tournament currently ranked in the top 50 by Golfstat. Consequently, a strong finish for Notre Dame at this weekend’s conference championship could not only strengthen its resumé for NCAA regional selections (which will be announced at 6 p.m. ET April 25 on Golf Channel), but also serve as a springboard for greater things in the coming weeks.

“We’re really looking forward to the ACC Championship,” Holt said. “We’re excited to return to Sedgefield, which is such a great championship venue. Not only does the ACC have 10 of the top 50 teams in the country, but we’re also one of two conferences that has all but two of its teams ranked in the top 50. The ACC Championship is so competitive every year, and this year will be more of the same.

“We will need to put together three solid rounds and take care of the little things that impact your score like converting easy up-and-downs and making putts from inside six feet,” Holt added. “From tee to green, we can compete with anyone – we just need to get the ball in the hole faster. We have a respectable head-to-head record against the conference teams and we have a team full of competitors that want to be the first team at Notre Dame to win the ACC Women’s Golf Championship. This is where our preparation meets opportunity and it will be an exciting weekend!”

Senior captain Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas/Ursuline Academy) has been a steady leader for the Fighting Irish throughout the 2015-16 season. She currently leads the team with a career-low 73.27 stroke average which also ranks 10th in the ACC this year. Campbell, a 2015 all-ACC selection, has two top-five and five top-10 finishes to her credit this season and has been Notre Dame’s top finisher in six events, including each of the last five. In addition, she has a team-best 10 rounds at par or better, including three rounds in the 60s.

Freshman Maddie Rose Hamilton (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) has enjoyed a solid spring season with three finishes of 26th or better. She is fourth on the team this year with a 75.15 stroke average and is coming off a tie for 26th with a three-round score of 228 (+12) at the Bryan National Collegiate two weeks ago on the northeast side of Greensboro.

Another of Notre Dame’s superb freshmen is Isabella DiLisio (Hatfield, Pa./Mount Saint Joseph Academy), who enjoyed a strong fall season, but has battled through a lingering back injury throughout the spring campaign. DiLisio has a 74.42 stroke average and four top-10 finishes (two in the top five) this year, good for third on the team, and she has posted a team-high eight rounds below par, highlighted by four rounds in the 60s.

The third member of the Fighting Irish freshman class (which is presently ranked third nationally by Golfstat) is Emma Albrecht (Ormond Beach, Fla./Father Lopez), who has been a very consistent contributor to Notre Dame’s fortunes this year with 19 of her 20 rounds in the lineup counting towards the team score. Albrecht is second on the squad with a 74.23 stroke average with two top-10 finishes in her column.

Junior Jordan Ferreira (University Place, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) will provide a strong veteran complement to Campbell while bookending the Notre Dame lineup at the ACC Championship. Ferreira has posted a 75.38 stroke average this year with three top-25 finishes, most notable a tie for 10th at Nebraska’s Chip-N Club Invitational back in October.

Along with live television coverage on ESPN3, the ACC will provide live scoring of the ACC Championship through the Golfstat web site (Golfstat.com), with in-progress updates also provided through the Fighting Irish women’s golf Twitter feed ( @NDwomensGolf).

For more information on the Notre Dame women’s golf program, visit the women’s golf page of the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (UND.com/ndwomensgolf), sign up to follow the Notre Dame women’s golf Twitter feed ( @NDwomensGolf) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.

— ND —

Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s golf and women’s basketball programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).