Sept. 14, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Playing amid unseasonably cool, overcast and breezy conditions, leave it to a senior from the tropical paradise of Hawaii to make sure the University of Notre Dame women’s golf team would see only blue skies in its season-opening tournament.
Senior Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii/Kauai) bounced back from two difficult rounds on Saturday to card a final-round 74 and help lift the Fighting Irish to a four-shot win over host Michigan State at the 15-team Mary Fossum Invitational, which concluded Sunday afternoon at the Forest Akers West Golf Course (par 72/6,334 yards) in East Lansing, Mich.
It was Notre Dame’s second win at MSU’s annual fall tournament, following its success in 2010, and it marks the fifth time in the last six appearances the Fighting Irish have finished in the top three at the event (they did not compete there in 2011).
“You can’t help but be pleased when you come out with a win in your first tournament of the year,” Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt said. “We had some challenges to overcome, between the weather and a slow start (Saturday), but our players stayed patient and focused, managed the course well and took advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves.
“Kelli (Oride) had a rough start, but she’s an experienced player and you had to know she was going to turn things around,” Holt added. “She’s also had success on this course the last two years we played up here, so we knew she could come out and give us a low number.”
Notre Dame finished the 54-hole event at 49-over par 913 (309-297-307), making up a seven-stroke deficit to MSU by firing the best team score of Sunday’s final round. Oride also matched the best individual score by any golfer in the 87-person field on Sunday, winding up as one of four Fighting Irish players to place in the top 25 at the tournament.
Junior Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas/Ursuline Academy) was Notre Dame’s top individual finisher, tying for fourth place at nine-over par 225 (73-76-76), four shots behind tournament medalist Meghan MacLaren of Florida International. It was the second-best finish of Campbell’s career, topped only by her medalist performance at the 2013 BIG EAST Conference Championship. Coincidentally, that also was the most recent tournament victory for the Fighting Irish prior to Sunday’s triumph.
“This was no surprise to us,” Holt said. “Talia had a great week of qualifying and that carried over to the tournament this weekend. It’s a great start for her and hopefully it will only continue to build her confidence as the season progresses.”
Senior captain Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) ended up in ninth place at 12-over par 228 (78-73-77), collecting her sixth career top-10 finish. Sophomore Jordan Ferreira (University Place, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) struggled a bit in the final round, but still posted a solid tie for 13th place at 15-over par 231 (78-73-80), her second-best career placement behind only a tie for eighth at last year’s season opener, the IU Fall Kickoff.
Oride’s strong finish helped propel the veteran into a tie for 21st place on the individual ladder at 18-over par 234 (82-78-74). Campbell and Oride were the most consistent Fighting Irish players on Sunday, with both golfers carding 14 pars during their final rounds.
Freshman Kari Bellville (Granger, Ind./Penn) showed flashes of promise in her first collegiate tournament, landing in a 41st-place tie at 23-over par 239 (80-75-84), while fellow rookie Alison Snakard (Collegeville, Pa./Mount Saint Joseph Academy) tied for 75th place at 40-over par 256 (82-85-89) while competing as an individual participant.
Notre Dame returns to the links Oct. 4-6 when it travels to Norman, Okla., to play in the Schooner Fall Classic at the Belmar Golf Club. The Fighting Irish will be visiting Oklahoma for the second time in three years, finishing second in 2012 at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic, which served as the University of Oklahoma’s fall tournament until last year, when it was replaced with the Schooner Fall Classic.
“The competition only gets tougher as our season moves along,” Holt said. “We’re going to have a couple of weeks to put in some good practice time and get prepared for a strong tournament field, which will include our first look this year at two of our fellow ACC teams, Clemson and Florida State, as well as some very solid programs from the Big 12 and SEC (Southeastern Conference).”
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.
Mary Fossum Invitational
Sept. 13-14, 2014
Forest Akers West Golf Course (par 72/6,334 yards)
East Lansing, Mich.
FINAL TEAM SCORES (54-hole totals): 1. NOTRE DAME 913 (309-297-307); 2. Michigan State 917 (307-292-318); 3. Toledo 919 (308-301-310); 4. Houston 925 (314-300-311); 5. (tie) Michigan 928 (317-297-314) and Florida International 928 (317-302-309); 7. East Tennessee State 935 (319-305-311); 8. Grand Valley State 949 (325-308-316); 9. Iowa 951 (318-317-316); 10. Western Michigan 955 (317-315-323); 11. Eastern Michigan 957 (328-310-319); 12. Oakland 958 (318-315-325); 13. Ohio 972 (335-316-321); 14. Ferris State 1030 (344-339-347); 15. Central Michigan 1045 (346-339-360).
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME GOLFERS (of 87): 1. Meghan MacLaren (FIU) 221 (74-73-74); 2. Gabrielle Shipley (GVSU) 222 (72-74-76); 3. Yuka Kajiki (UH) 223 (76-72-75); 4. (tie) Talia Campbell (ND) 225 (73-76-76) and Jennifer Elsholz (UT) 225 (75-75-75); 6. (tie) Sarah Burnham (MSU) 226 (75-70-81) and Sathika Ruenreong (UT) 226 (75-74-77); 8. Megan Thothong (UH) 227 (76-74-77); 9. Ashley Armstrong (ND) 228 (78-73-77); 10. (tie) Kelly Hartigan (GVSU) 230 (77-74-79), Gabby Yurik (MSU) 230 (73-79-78) and Julia Montgomery (UM) 230 (80-75-75); 13. (tie) Jordan Ferreira (ND) 231 (78-73-80); 21. (tie) Kelli Oride (ND) 234 (82-78-74); 41. (tie) Kari Bellville (ND) 239 (80-75-84); 75. (tie) Alison Snakard (ND)* 256 (82-85-89).
* – played as individual competitor
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director