Feb. 20, 2015
Westbrook Spring Invitational
Dates: Feb. 22-23, 2015
Format: 54 holes (36 holes on Sunday; 18 holes on Monday)
Tee Times: 10:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. MT both days (shotgun starts)
Location: Peoria, Ariz.
Course (Par/Yardage): Westbrook Village Golf Club – Vistas Course (par 72/6,269 yards)
Tournament Field (current Golfstat ranking): College of Charleston (68), Illinois (62), Indiana (77), Iowa (103), Kansas State (52), Nebraska (96), Notre Dame (32), Ohio State (40), Oklahoma (72), Oregon (35), Oregon State (100), Tennessee (14), Tulsa (93), Washington State (75) and Wisconsin (42).
Notre Dame Lineup (2014-15 stroke average): Ashley Armstrong (73.92), Jordan Ferreira (74.17), Kelli Oride (75.50), Talia Campbell (73.50), Kari Bellville (76.17).
Live Scoring: www.golfstat.com
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — It’s been nearly four months since the University of Notre Dame women’s golf team last teed off in competition, coming away with an impressive tie for third place at the high-powered Landfall Tradition and defeating eight Golfstat Top 25 teams in the process. Now, the Fighting Irish face the challenge of maintaining their hot hand as they escape the cold and snow of northern Indiana for the Valley of the Sun.
Notre Dame begins the second half of its 2014-15 season on Sunday and Monday, when it competes in the fourth annual Westbrook Spring Invitational at the Westbrook Village Golf Club in Peoria, Arizona. The tournament, which is hosted by the University of Wisconsin, will be played on the Club’s Vistas Course (par 72/6,269 yards), with many of the Westbrook Village residents spending time not only as tournament volunteers, but also serving as host families for many of this weekend’s competitors, building a unique bond between the course, the tournament and its participants.
The Fighting Irish have developed their own special chemistry this season, posting four top-10 finishes in as many fall events, including a victory at the season-opening Michigan State Mary Fossum Invitational, as well as the top-three placement at Landfall. During those four tournaments, Notre Dame has posted a 295.08 stroke average, currently more than three strokes ahead of the school-record pace set by the 2012-13 Fighting Irish club (298.70).
“The team is really excited to get the spring season started this weekend in Arizona,” Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt said. “We spent last weekend training in West Palm Beach (Florida) and were able to get in two great days of practice and play. The team is anxious to build on the momentum we created at Landfall, which was a great boost to our confidence. The reality of knowing just how good this team can be is very promising.
“The event at Westbrook this weekend is a new stop for us,” Holt added. “We’re going to see some great competition right out of the gate this spring. The hot team coming in is Oregon who just won Stanford’s event last weekend.”
Oregon moved up to No. 35 in the Golfstat rankings following that tournament win, putting the Ducks as the third-highest rated team in the 15-team Westbrook field behind Notre Dame and the tournament anticipated pacesetter, No. 14 Tennessee.
A pair of Big Ten Conference teams — Ohio State (40th) and Wisconsin (42nd) — also could be heard from this weekend, along with Big 12 Conference member Kansas State (52nd).
Like many of its northern sisters, Notre Dame is making its spring season debut at the Westbrook Spring Invitational, having spent the better part of the mid-season break honing their craft both outdoors and indoors, as the finicky Midwest weather has allowed.
“The winter indoor practice has been going well day to day,” Holt said. “We have been able to bring the drills we do outdoors in the fall inside and still get good quality practice sessions in each day. While we are not able to take our games onto the golf course this time of year in South Bend, we have a simulator that fills the void.
“While we haven’t been out playing much golf due to the snow in South Bend, that’s not going to diminish our expectations as we start the spring season,” Holt continued. “This is a talented group of players and we have to be ready to compete and find a way to be competitive. That’s where course management and playing the percentages needs to be emphasized at this early part of the spring season. I don’t expect our players to be at the top of their games right now — that will come as we progress through the spring and get more rounds in the books.
“We can help ourselves by playing smart and having realistic expectations while playing and not being too aggressive in executing pinpoint accuracy shots,” Holt concluded. “We need to err on the side of caution until we get comfortable playing “tournament” golf again. If we can commit to that strategy, we’ll have a chance to pick up a win and keep our momentum going.”
Wisconsin will offer live scoring of the Westbrook Spring Invitational through the Golfstat web site (www.golfstat.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