Sept. 21, 2011
Wolcott, Colo. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team closed out play at their season-opening tournament with a final round of 304 on Wednesday afternoon to finish in a tie for ninth with Coastal Carolina at the Golfweek Conference Challenge. The 16-over par total gives the Irish a 54-hole total of 917 on the par-72, 6,236-yard Tom Fazio course at the Red Sky Golf Club near Vail, Colo.
The Irish finished 18 strokes behind tournament champion Oklahoma as the Sooners moved from sixth to first on the final day with a three-over par team total of 291. That gave them a 54-hole mark of 899 and a five-stroke win over UC-Davis as the Aggies finished with a 904 total.
On a day that saw seven teams either lead or share the lead, Tulsa finished third with a 906 mark and was followed by Pepperdine in fourth (907) with Oregon and Mississippi tying for fifth with 908 totals. Six teams finished within nine strokes of the lead while just four strokes separated second through sixth for the day.
Wednesday’s final round was played in sunny weather with temperatures in the mid-50s with winds gusting to 21 mph. Those conditions didn’t seem to bother Irish captain Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo.) who turned in one of 11 rounds of par or better with an even-par mark of 72. Huffer, who didn’t play in the summer due to injuries, finished with a 15-over par mark of 231 for the tournament and tied for 34th overall. She was 14 strokes behind tournament medalist Chirapat Jao-Javanil from Oklahoma, who won the tournament with a one-over par 217 after firing a 72 on the last day.
Jao-Javanil would win the tournament by three strokes over three golfers who had four-over totals of 220. First and second round co-leader Natalie Gleadall of Mississippi shot a final round 77 to finish at 220 along with Kristina Merkle of Tulsa (220) and Pepperdine’s Grace Na (220). Rounding out the top five, just one stroke behind at 221, were Marion Duvernay of Chattanooga and Beverly Vatananugulk of UC-Davis.
Joining Huffer for the Irish with an outstanding final round was freshman Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii) who had the best round of her college career with a one-over-par 73. She carded three birdies over a five-hole span on her final nine holes to get back to even par before a bogey on the par-3 seventh, her 16th hole of the day, gave her a final total of 73. Oride’s 54-hole mark of 230 was tops among Notre Dame golfers and tied her for 32nd overall.
Fellow freshman Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.) finished her first career tournament tied for 34th with Huffer as she struggled with a final round 81 after leading the Irish over the first 36 holes with 73-77. Senior Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz.) tied for 39th with a 16-over par 232 after shooting a closing round of 78. Sophomore Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif.) tied for 49th overall with an 18-over par 234.
The Irish now have a two-week break before returning to action the weekend of Oct. 7-9 when they travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., to participate in the Tar Heel Invitational hosted by the University of North Carolina. This marks the first time that the Irish have participated in the Tar Heel Invitational.
TEAM RESULTS (54-hole totals): 1. Oklahoma 301-307-291-899; 2.UC-Davis 294-313-297-904; 3. Tulsa 305-305-296-906; 4. Pepperdine 300-306-301-907; t5.Oregon 297-304-307-908; Mississippi 300-306-302-908; 7. Denver 299-307-306-912; 8. TCU 307-311-295-913; t9. Notre Dame 302-311-304-917; Coastal Carolina 297-313-307-917; 11. Georgia State 304-319-301-924; t12. Texas-San Antonio 304-314-312-930; Kennesaw State 304-317-309-930; 14. Chattanooga 305-325-630; 15. New Mexico State 312-311-311-934; 16. Minnesota 302-324-312-938; 17. Pennsylvania 313-325-321-959; 18. Western Michigan 320-332-319-971.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 90): 1.Chirapat Jao-Javanil (Oklahoma) 70-74-72-217; t2. Natalie Gleadall (Mississippi) 69-74-77-220; Grace Na (Pepperdine) 69-74-77-220; Kristina Merkle (Tulsa) 79-70-71-220; t5. Marion Duvernay (Chattanooga) 72-77-72-221; Beverly Vatananugulk (UC-Davis) 73-77-71-221; 7. Charlotte Lorentzen (Georgia State) 71-76-75-222; t8. Fabiola Arriaga (Texas San Antonio) 74-74-76-224; Demi Runas (UC-Davis) 73-77-74-224; Anne Tanguay (Oklahoma) 75-74-75- 224; 11. Five tied at 225.