Oct. 3, 2014 Schooner Fall Classic
Dates: Oct. 4-6, 2014
Format: 54 holes (18 holes each day)
Tee Times: Split-tee starts each day (beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT/9:30 a.m. ET)
Location: Norman, Okla.
Course (Par/Yardage): Belmar Golf Club (par 70/6,082 yards)
Tournament Field (current Golfweek ranking): Arkansas (1), Baylor (111), California (39), UCF (20), Clemson (87), Florida State (26), Kent State (60), LSU (8), Mississippi State (10), Notre Dame (32), Oklahoma (no tournaments played), SMU (53), Texas (37), Texas A&M (28), TCU (76), Texas State (88) and Texas Tech (46).
Notre Dame Lineup (2014-15 stroke average): Talia Campbell (75.00), Ashley Armstrong (76.00), Kari Bellville (79.67), Jordan Ferreira (77.00), Kelli Oride (78.00)
Live Scoring: www.BirdieFire.com
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — It’s been three weeks since the University of Notre Dame women’s golf team returned to campus with the Mary Fossum Invitational championship trophy. Although the Fighting Irish haven’t competed in a tournament since then, head coach Susan Holt has seen plenty of small victories that have her pleased with Notre Dame’s progress following its season-opening win.
“Since our last event at Michigan State we have had great practice sessions on the course and had quality reps on the range and short game areas,” Holt said. “In conversations with the players, their confidence is up across the board and that is so very important in this sport. It’s the difference maker.”
Holt and the Fighting Irish will put those practice successes to the test, when they tee off in the Schooner Fall Classic, which begins at 8:30 a.m. CT (9:30 a.m. ET) Saturday at the Belmar Golf Club in Norman, Oklahoma, with the University of Oklahoma serving as tournament host.
In just its second year, the Schooner Fall Classic has pulled together a strong mix of programs for the 2014 tournament, highlighted by nine teams that are currently among the top 40 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, including top-ranked Arkansas, No. 8 LSU and 10th-ranked Mississippi State.
“This is a quality field with top teams playing from the SEC, ACC and Big 12 (conferences),” Holt said. “It should prove to be a great test and really show us where we are nationally early in the season.”
“The players are really excited to compete in this event and are looking forward to making a statement with their play,” she added. “This is a great opportunity to pick up some quality head-to-head wins. Our schedule is very competitive and we always look forward to seeing how we stack up with many of the top programs in the country.”
Ranked 32nd in the first Golfweek ratings of the season, Notre Dame is coming off a four-stroke victory over Michigan State at the 12-team Mary Fossum Invitational on Sept. 13-14, carding a three-round score of 913 (+49) to open the season with a tournament win for the fifth time in program history and first since 2010-11.
Junior Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas/Ursuline Academy) helped lead the Fighting Irish to the Mary Fossum Invitational title, tying for fourth place at nine-over par 225 to post the second top-five finish and and fifth top-10 outing of her career. Senior captain Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) wasn’t far behind Campbell in ninth place at 12-over par 228, with Armstrong securing her sixth career top-10 finish.
The veteran duo will headline the Notre Dame lineup this weekend at the Schooner Fall Classic, with freshman Kari Bellville (Granger, Ind./Penn), sophomore Jordan Ferreira (University Place, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) and senior Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii/Kauai) completing the Fighting Irish quintet. All five players showed flashes of promise during practice sessions prior to leaving for Oklahoma, a development that has Holt optimistic about her team’s chances in the high-powered event.
“Our qualifying rounds for this event were much lower overall (than Michigan State) and we’re looking forward to having those scores produce results in tournament play,” the ninth-year Notre Dame coach said. “I expect the scores to be low, so we will need to be ready to go low as well and have some fun with it, making lots of birdies along the way.”
The Fighting Irish are playing in the state of Oklahoma for the second time in three years, placing second at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in 2012. The nascent Schooner Fall Classic, which debuted last year, is sponsored by the Toby Keith Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the popular country music singer and songwriter. All proceeds from this weekend’s tournament go to the OK Kids Korral, a facility that opened in 2013 in Oklahoma City and is dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of pediatric cancer patients. The cost-free “home away from home” facility has 16 guest suites, a gourmet kitchen, playgrounds and an indoor theater.
“This is a fantastic tournament that (head coach) Veronique (Drouin-Luttrell) and the Oklahoma women’s golf program have put together,” Holt said. “The fact that every penny will go to the OK Kids Korral just makes this an even greater and more meaningful experience, and we will be proud to represent Notre Dame this weekend.”
Oklahoma will offer live scoring of the Schooner Fall Classic through the BirdieFire web site (www.BirdieFire.com), while daily recaps on Notre Dame’s progress will be posted on the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (www.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