April 15, 2016
By Chris Masters
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As they walked off the 18th green after Friday's first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, the members of the University of Notre Dame women's golf team wore remarkably similar expressions that succinctly covered the frustration with their performance.
The Fighting Irish picked an unfortunate time to card one of their highest team scores of the season, shooting 22-over par 310 and standing in 10th place following the opening 18 holes of the 28th annual conference tournament that is being contested for the eighth consecutive year at the historic Sedgefield Country Club (par 72/6,089 yards) in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Friday continued Notre Dame's recent difficulty in handling windy conditions, something it has faced in its last three tournaments, the past two in the Greensboro area. The Fighting Irish have shot higher than 300 in only eight of their 27 rounds this season, but five of those have come in the past three events, trimming a bit of the luster off a season has seen Notre Dame on pace to register the lowest stroke average in the program's 28-year history.
Freshman Emma Albrecht (Ormond Beach, Fla./Father Lopez) is the top Fighting Irish individual through Friday's first round, tying for 18th place after shooting a three-over par 75 in her postseason debut.
The Fighting Irish currently are 27 strokes behind tournament leader (and defending ACC champion) Virginia. Albrecht is nine shots back of Virginia's Lauren Coughlin and Wake Forest's Jennifer Kupcho, who carded matching scores of six-under par 66, one stroke off the ACC postseason record.
"Obviously, all of us are extremely disappointed with today's result," Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt said. "We didn't live up to the standards we've set for ourselves within our program and that's unacceptable. There are challenges that come up in every round of golf and the truly successful teams are those that can thrive when adversity strikes. Fortunately, there's still a lot of golf to be played this weekend and I expect we'll come out tomorrow refocused and determined to play Notre Dame golf."
Senior captain Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas/Ursuline Academy) is tied for 27th place in the 60-golfer field after shooting a four-over par 76 on Friday. Campbell, an all-ACC selection in 2015, has finished in the top 15 and been Notre Dame's top individual in all three of her previous conference tournament appearances.
Freshman Maddie Rose Hamilton (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) turned in a six-over par 78 in her ACC Championship debut, earning a share of 43rd place. Meanwhile, classmate Isabella DiLisio (Hatfield, Pa./Mount Saint Joseph Academy) had her own difficulties on Friday, tying for 52nd place at nine-over par 81.
Junior Jordan Ferreira (University Place, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) rounded out the Fighting Irish lineup with an opening-round 83 (+11), putting her in 57th place.
Notre Dame will look to begin its tournament comeback Saturday when second-round action at the ACC Championship begins at 8 a.m. (ET) from the No. 1 tee at Sedgefield. Live scoring will be available through the Golfstat web site (Golfstat.com), with ESPN3 adding televised coverage beginning at 2 p.m. (ET).
For more information on the Notre Dame women's golf program, visit the women's golf page of the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (UND.com/ndwomensgolf), sign up to follow the Notre Dame women's golf Twitter feed (@NDwomensGolf) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
April 15-17, 2016
Sedgefield Country Club (par 72/6,089 yards)
Greensboro, North Carolina
TEAM SCORES (18-hole totals): 1. Virginia 283; 2. (tie) Wake Forest 294 and Duke 294; 4. North Carolina State 297; 5. (tie) North Carolina 298 and Clemson 298; 7. Florida State 299; 8. Miami 301; 9. Boston College 304; 10. NOTRE DAME 310; 11. Louisville 311; 12. Virginia Tech 320.
TOP EIGHT INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME GOLFERS (of 60): 1. (tie) Lauren Coughlin (UVA) 66 and Jennifer Kupcho (WF) 66; 3. Leona Maguire (DU) 70; 4. (tie) Daniela Darquea (UM) 71, Lauren Diaz-Yi (UVA) 71 and Naomi Ko (NCST) 71; 7. (tie) Sydney Legacy (CU) 72 and Anna Redding (UVA) 72; 18. (tie) Emma Albrecht (ND) 75; 27. (tie) Talia Campbell (ND) 76; 43. (tie) Maddie Rose Hamilton (ND) 78; 52. (tie) Isabella DiLisio (ND) 81; 57. Jordan Ferreira (ND) 83.
Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's golf and women's basketball programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master's degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).