Sept. 19, 2011
Wolcott, Colo. –
The Notre Dame women’s golf team opened the 2011-12 campaign on Monday afternoon by shooting an opening round mark of 14-over par 302 for 18 holes at the Golfweek Conference Challenge. The opening event for the Irish is being played at the par-72, 6,236-yard Tom Fazio course at the Red Sky Golf Club. Notre Dame will enter Tuesday’s middle-round 18 holes tied with Minnesota and trails first-round leader UC Davis by eight strokes as the Aggies fired a first-day mark of six-over par 294.
UC Davis leads second-place Oregon (297) and Coastal Carolina by three strokes, fourth-place Denver (299) by five and fifth-place Mississippi (300) and Pepperdine by six shots.
Individually, the Irish were led on their opening round by freshman Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.) who got her collegiate career off to a fast start by firing a one-over par 73. She is tied for 10th after 18 holes and trails three players – Natalie Gleadoll of Mississippi, Kaitlin Higginbotham of Coastal Carolina and Grace Na of Pepperdine – by four strokes as that threesome carded three-under par marks of 69. Armstrong sandwiched two birdies on the second and 17th holes around three bogies on 11, 12 and 14 for her impressive opening round.
Following Armstrong for the Irish, in a tie for 18th is sophomore Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif.), who had a two-over mark of 74 after notching three birdies on the back nine. She trails the leaders by five strokes going into Tuesday’s middle round of the 54-hole tournament.
Senior Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz.) is third among Irish golfers and is tied for 39th after an opening round of five-over par 77. Fellow senior Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo.) is one stroke behind her with a six-over 78 and is tied for 54th. Freshman Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii) rounds out the Notre Dame contingent as she is tied for 61st overall with a seven-over par 79.
For the opening round, played on a sunny afternoon with temperatures in the Rocky Mountains in the low 70’s, nine players shot even par or better. Sitting one stroke behind the leaders at -3 is Oklahoma’s Chirapat Jao-Javinil with a two-under 70 while Charlotte Lorentzen of Georgia State rounds out the top five individuals with a one-under par 71.
Round two of the Golfweek Conference Challenge that pits the top-ranked teams from each conference based on the fall of 2010 Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings will start at 10:00 a.m. (MT) on Tuesday morning.
TEAM RESULTS (18-hole totals): 1. UC Davis 294; t2. Oregon 297; Coastal Carolina 297; 4. Denver 299; t5. Mississippi 300; Pepperdine 300; 7. Oklahoma 301; t8. Notre Dame 302; Minnesota 302; t10. Georgia State 304; Kennesaw State 304; Texas-San Antonio 304; t13. Tulsa 305; Chattanooga 305; 15. TCU 307; 16. New Mexico State 312; 17. Pennsylvania 313; 18. Western Michigan 320.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 90): t1. Natalie Gleadall (Mississippi) 69; Kaitlin Higginbotham (Coastal Carolina) 69; Grace Na (Pepperdine) 68; 4. Chirapat Jao-Javanil (Oklahoma) 70; 5. Charlotte Lorentzen (Georgia State) 71; t6. Jessica Alexander (Coastal Carolina) 72; Marion Duvernay (Chattanooga) 72; Cheyenne Hickle (Oregon) 72; Banchalee Theinthong (Minnesota) 72; t10. Ashley Armstrong (Notre Dame) 73.