March 26, 2013
JOHN'S ISLAND, S.C. - The No. 23 University of Notre Dame women's golf team captured its 34th tournament title in program history on Tuesday (March 26) as the Irish shot a 42-over-par 906 (317-300-289) to win their first team title of the season at the Briar's Creek Invitational on the Golf Club at Briar's Creek. For the second consecutive week, sophomore Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.), ranked 95th, led the Irish as she defeated 95 competitors while carding a one-over-par 217 (74-71-72) to claim medalist honors for the second time this season.
Notre Dame held off second-place Maryland (914) by eight strokes and third-place Coastal Carolina (916) by 10 strokes to secure its spot at the top of the leaderboard on the second and final day of the 54-hole tournament.
Armstrong pulled away by a three-stroke margin over second-place finisher No. 45 Laura Wearn from Furman (77-76-67-220) and owned a four-stroke margin over Coastal Carolina's No. 90 Brittany Henderson who finished third (71-74-76-221) in the tournament.
Notre Dame's tournament title is the first for the Irish since winning the 2011 BIG EAST Championship. The win also gives Coach Susan Holt's team a total of six top-five team finishes on the season.
Notre Dame's third-round score of a one-over-par 289 ties its best round of the season, matching the round total the team shot in two rounds at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in October to finish second out 18 teams.
"We really had to show up today and play well," Holt says. "I am really proud of each and every one of our golfers across the board. They all played well on the final day. It was really great to see Kristina (Nhim) and Kelli (Oride) play well in the final round and to see the scores they put up."
Battling fierce weather conditions on the first day of play, the final day begin in abnormal fashion as teams finished the six to seven remaining holes of the second round of the planned 36-holes for day one, before trailing through the third and final round planned for day two.
Playing a total of 24 holes on the final day, Armstrong pared 14 of them and racked up a total of seven birdies. Armstrong had her best stretch of consistent play in the third round from holes two thru six as she reached par on each of the holes.
Armstrong concluded the second round with a two-under-par and racked up two birdies through six holes before beginning the final 18 holes.
Armstrong ultimately zoned in on her medalist honor on the final four holes of play during the closing round. The sophomore shot two-under par from holes 15 thru 18, gathering birdies on the 142-yard par three and the 514-yard par five.
Armstrong pared 37 holes and did not surrender a single double bogey during the entire 54-hole tournament.
Throughout the two-day tournament Armstrong defeated seven top-100 foes and four top-50 opponents.
With today's results, Armstrong has now won a total of three tournament titles in her career and is the third Irish player to win back-to-back tournaments in the history of the program.
"Ashley (Armstrong) is playing great golf right now," Holt says. "She has been working hard all year and it was good to see her get her due. The conditions were tough again today and it was really amazing and special to see her work through that on such a tough course."
Freshman Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas) carded an 11-over-par 227 (79-75-73) to tie for seventh place and nab her third top-10 finish this season.
Campbell began her final day on hole No. 12 for the second round and finished with a three-over-par through that stint.
Campbell fired even par through the entire back nine during the third round and birdied the 303-yard par four.
The freshman shot a one-over-par on the front nine and made birdie on the 499-yard par five to open the final round. Campbell found a great rhythm going into her final 10 holes of play as she only surrendered a single bogey through that span.
Sophomore Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii) came out strong on the final day as she fired her best 54-hole tournament score this spring season through the four tournaments she has played in thus far.
Oride tied for 25th place with a 16-over-par 232 (83-78-71).
Oride capped off the final day with a three-under-par on the front nine. After giving up a double bogey on hole 17 during the second round, the sophomore made birdie in four of the next five holes.
Oride did not give up a bogey until the 11th hole of the final round and responded after with a birdie on hole 13.
Oride was a perfect four-for-four on making par in each of the four par fives during the final round.
Oride and Armstrong each achieved eight birdies throughout the tournament and ranked fifth among the field in that category.
Freshman Lindsey Weaver (Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished with a 17-over-par 233 (81-76-76) to tied for 32nd place.
Weaver birdied the 141-yard par three and fired a one-over-par in the final six holes of the second round.
The freshman shot a one-over-par on the front nine of the third round, paring eight of the nine holes.
Weaver made par from holes six thru 12 in the closing round and pared her final hole.
Weaver ranked fourth in par three scoring in the tournament with an average score of a 3.08.
Junior Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Cali.) shot her second best tournament score during the spring season with an 18-over-par 234 (83-78-73) to tie for 38th place.
The junior birdied hole 18 and shot even par in the final six holes in the second round.
Nhim picked up a birdie on holes one and four to shot a one-over-par on the front nine during the third round.
Nhim ranked seventh with Weaver in the field with most pars as the pair each had 34 pars during the tournament.
After placing a double bogey on the scorecard on hole eight, Nhim went on to par nine of the final 10 holes she face to close out the back nine with a one-over-par.
Notre Dame will close out its regular season this spring next weekend at the DAC/SMU Invitational in Dallas, Texas, April 5-7 before heading to the BIG EAST Championship two weeks later (April 21-23) in Orlando, Fla.
Teams: 1.Notre Dame (906), 2. Maryland (914), 3. Coastal Carolina (916), 4. Campbell (917), 5. Indiana (918), 6. East Carolina (921), 7. UCF (922), 8. Kansas (925), 9. Augusta State (926), 10. Mississippi State (933), 11. Kansas State (935), 12. College of Charleston (937), T13. Furman (939), T13. Wisconsin (939), 15. Chattanooga (948), 16. South Florida (950), 17. Penn State (951), 18. Georgetown (971).
Individuals: (Top-5) 1. Ashley Armstrong (Notre Dame) 74-71-72-217, 2. Laura Wearn (Furman) 77-76-67-220, 3. Brittany Henderson (Coastal Carolina) 71-74-76-221), T4. T. Boonraksasat (Kansas) 73-76-72-222, T4. Kate Coons (Indiana) 78-75-69-222, T4. Natalie Wille (Augusta State) 76-73-73.
Notre Dame: 1. Ashley Armstrong 74-71-72-217 (+1), T7. Talia Campbell 79-75-73-227 (+11), T25. Kelli Oride 83-78-71-232 (+16), T32. Lindsey Weaver 81-76-76-233 (+17), T38. Kristina Nhim 83-78-73-234 (+18).