Oct. 17, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Like the fog that blanketed the Cherokee Country Club on Friday morning, the University of Notre Dame women’s golf team faced murky fortunes early in the first round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship. Then, the fog lifted and Notre Dame’s potential came into sharp focus.
The Fighting Irish lived up to their nickname on Friday, battling back from a tough front nine with a strong finish, carding a 16-over par 300 to stand in eighth place after 18 holes of the 16-team tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee. Kent State holds the first-round lead at 289, while Notre Dame is among eight teams separated by eight shots in places 2-9.
“We hung in there today,” Fighting Irish head coach Susan Holt said. “It was a really rough start for all five of our players, going out in 16-over, but I’m pleased with how they responded and finished strong, playing the second nine at even. We dodged a bullet today, but also missed an opportunity to be in a better position. The good news is we have two days to recover, and we have the talent to do it.”
Junior Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas/Ursuline Academy) personified her team’s up-and-down performance on Friday on the way to her fifth-place tie at one-over par 72. Campbell went out in four-over par 39 (including a triple bogey on No. 4), but stormed in with a three-under par 33, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 15th hole, Notre Dame’s first eagle of the season and the only one carded among the 90-player field on Friday.
“Individually, Talia was the star for us today,” Holt said. “She came back from plus-four on the front with a three-under on the back, and that shows a lot of maturity, which is always a great sign.”
Three other Fighting Irish players are tied for 33rd place, as senior captain Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor), freshman Kari Bellville (Granger, Ind./Penn) and sophomore Jordan Ferreira (University Place, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) each posted a five-over par 76 on Friday. Armstrong showed particular toughness, erasing the memory of consecutive double bogeys on the front nine with an even-par showing on the back side of the course.
Senior Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii/Kauai) rounded out the Notre Dame contingent on Friday, tying for 47th place at six-over par 77.
Notre Dame swings back into action at 9 a.m. (ET) Saturday in the second round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship, with Tennessee providing live in-progress scoring through the Golfstat web site (www.golfstat.com).
“All five of our players are looking forward to playing the first nine better tomorrow and posting a low team score,” Holt said.
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.
Oct. 17-19, 2014
Cherokee Country Club (par 71/5,870 yards)
ROUND ONE TEAM SCORES (18-hole totals): 1. Kent State 289; 2. Louisville 293; 3. UCF 294; 4. South Carolina 295; 5. (tie) Missouri and Denver 297; 7. Furman 299; 8. NOTRE DAME 300; 9. Tennessee 301; 10. Wisconsin 304; 11. College of Charleston 306; 12. Michigan 311; 13. (tie) Penn State, East Tennessee State and Chattanooga 317; 16. Eastern Kentucky 324.
TOP 12 INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME GOLFERS (of 90): 1. Taylor Totland (FUR) 70; 2. (tie) Laura Restrepo (LOU), Alina Rogers (MU) and Wad Phaewchimplee (KSU) 71; 5. (tie) Talia Campbell (ND) 72, plus Molly Skapik (LOU), Nanna Madsen (USC), Natalie Goodson (KSU), Fanny Cnops (UCF), Jennifer Ha (KSU), Jessica Carty (DU) and Monifa Sealy (UCF) 72; 33. (tie) Ashley Armstrong (ND), Kari Bellville (ND) and Jordan Ferreira (ND) 76; 47. (tie) Kelli Oride (ND) 77.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director