April 16, 2015
Dates: April 17-18, 2015
Format: 54 holes (27 holes each day)
Tee Times: 9:10 a.m. ET Friday (No. 1 tee); 8-11:10 a.m. ET Saturday (No. 1 tee)
TV: ESPN3/WatchESPN (2-4 p.m. ET Saturday
Location: Greensboro, N.C.
Course (Par/Yardage): Sedgefield Country Club (par 72/6,089 yards)
Tournament Field (current Golfstat ranking): Boston College (160), Clemson (99), Duke (5), Florida State (31), Louisville (40), Miami (26), North Carolina (53), North Carolina State (42), Notre Dame (32), Virginia (11) and Wake Forest (12).
Notre Dame Lineup (2014-15 stroke average): Talia Campbell (73.63), Jordan Ferreira (74.50), Ashley Armstrong (74.00), Kelli Oride (76.25), Kari Bellville (77.83).
Live Scoring: www.golfstat.com
Tournament Central: theacc.com
Fan Guide: theacc.com
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Exams are considered a benchmark to gauge one’s progress, a measuring stick to see how far one has come and what lessons have been learned.
The University of Notre Dame women’s golf team will have its own sort of test this weekend, as the 32nd-ranked Fighting Irish tee off in the 27th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, beginning at 9:10 a.m. (ET) Friday at the Sedgefield Country Club (par 72/6,089 yards) in Greensboro, North Carolina. The tournament continues with supplementary television coverage through ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app from 2-4 p.m. ET Saturday.
As Notre Dame prepared for its second appearance in the ACC Championship with a practice round at Sedgefield on Thursday, the Fighting Irish face similar playing conditions to last year’s conference tournament, when they tied for fifth amid cold and rainy weather, playing alongside several other of the nation’s top-ranked teams.
This year, the temperatures may have moderated, but the wet conditions remain, making the deceptively-short Sedgefield layout even more demanding and requiring precision shot-making from all five members of the Notre Dame lineup as it competes in an 11-team tournament with more than half the participants appearing in the top 35 of this week’s Golfstat rankings.
The Fighting Irish will address another test at the ACC Championship — the challenge of building momentum heading into NCAA regional play in three weeks. Last season, Notre Dame needed a strong result at the conference tournament simply to qualify for NCAA postseason competition, and that “back-against-the-wall” mentality paid off with a top-five finish.
This year, the Fighting Irish come in with a more relaxed and confident approach, having all but secured a berth in the NCAA regionals, one of which will be contested May 7-9 at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course. The Fighting Irish have the added luxury of knowing they have competed successfully this season against eight of the other 10 teams in this weekend’s ACC Championship, posting a combined 9-7-1 record against those squads, including victories over defending champion (and fifth-ranked) Duke, No. 11 Virginia and No. 31 Florida State.
Notre Dame also should benefit from two solid weeks of practice following a tie for seventh place at the Bryan National Collegiate on April 3-5 across town at Greensboro’s Bryan Park Golf & Enrichment Center. For the third time in four spring tournaments, the Fighting Irish had three players finish in the top 20 on the individual ladder, led by junior Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas/Ursuline Academy), who earned a share of sixth place, her third top-10 showing of the season and second this spring.
“We’re excited to be playing in the ACC Championship this weekend,” Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt said. “We look to be competitive and put ourselves in a position to win it on Sunday. We’ve gone head to head with the top five teams this year and if we play the way we are capable of … why not us?
“Sedgefield is a great golf course that requires quality shots on every hole,” she added. “We’ve played similar courses this year that have prepared us for this week. In particular, I think the Bryan Park course we played a few weeks ago was a great warm-up for this week, with a similar terrain and grass that will help us adjust to the conditions we face now.
“I think there are a number of teams coming in with similar talent,” Holt concluded. “The difference maker this week will be attitude and focus. The team that keeps both of those areas in check will win. With that being said, I’m expecting we’ll be in the mix (for the championship) on Sunday, which is our goal for the weekend.”
Four of the five Notre Dame players competing in this year’s ACC Championship also took part in last year’s conference tournament, led by Campbell, who tied for 13th place. Sophomore Jordan Ferreira (University Place, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) ended in a 22nd-place tie last year, while senior Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii/Kauai) shared 25th place and senior captain Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) wound up in a 35th-place deadlock. Freshman Kari Bellville (Granger, Ind./Penn) completes the Fighting Irish lineup this weekend, making her conference tournament debut.
The ACC will offer live scoring of the ACC Championship through the Golfstat web site (www.golfstat.com), with televised coverage available on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app from 2-4 p.m. ET Saturday. In addition, daily recaps on Notre Dame’s progress will be posted on the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (UND.com).
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s golf program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s golf Twitter pages (@NDsidMasters or @NDwomensGolf) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director