April 23, 2013
Orlando, Fla. -
The No. 26 University of Notre Dame women's golf team claimed its fifth BIG EAST Conference title in program history Tuesday afternoon (April 23) at the Reunion Resort and Golf Club's par 72 Tom Watson Course (6,124 yards).
The Irish carded a three-day total of a three-under-par 861 (294-285-282) through 54 holes. The win marks the program's third conference title in the last six years (2008, 2011, 2013) under two-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year Susan Holt.
Freshmen Lindsey Weaver (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Talia Campbell(Dallas, Texas) each fired six-under par totals of 210 to share medalist honors. The six-under par mark was the lowest 54-hole total in the history of the BIG EAST women's championship, beating the previous mark of three-under 213 set by Louisville's Cindy LaCrosse in 2007.
The Irish duo entered Tuesday's final round tied for the top spot and each had three-under totals of 69 to finish with 210 totals. Weaver had rounds of 71-70-69 while Campbell shot 72-69-69. The finish was Weaver's fourth tournament in which she has shot under par and Campbell's first in their rookie years.
Notre Dame trailed the University of Louisville by seven strokes after the first round but the Irish would not be denied, taking a one-stroke lead after 36 holes on Monday afternoon. They never looked back after taking the lead and eventually took a 13-stroke win over the Cardinals to etch their names in the record books once again as a BIG EAST champion.
Louisville carded an 11-over-par 875 (287-293-295) to finish second followed by third-place St. John's (302-303-299-904).
Weaver and Campbell become the fourth and fifth Irish freshmen and sixth and seventh Notre Dame golfers to capture the individual crown at the BIG EAST Championship in the 11 years it has been offered. They join Katie Brophy (2003), Karen Lotta (2005), Annie Brophy (2008), Lisa Maunu (2009) and Ashley Armstrong(2012).
Louisville's Emily Haas finished third in the field of 40 with a three-under-par 213 (72-68-73).
"We came out strong and really set the tempo early," said Irish head coach Susan Holt. "I think the right attitude we had early made the difference. It was a quality team win and came at a great time in the season as we are moving toward post-season play. Our confidence is up coming off this performance and we are looking forward to representing Notre Dame at the next tournament."
Collectively, the Irish fired back-to-back under-par rounds over the final 36 holes with rounds of 285 (-3) on day two and a 282 (-6) on day three. The 54-hole total stands as the best team score for the Irish in the BIG EAST Championship in the history of the tournament. The Irish overtake Louisville's 876 score (2009) for the lowest round in tournament play. The score additionally stands as the program's second best score since beginning in 1988 and was the only under-par tournament for the team this season.
Weaver, the No. 16 player in the country, began her final day with a bogey on hole one (par 5, 508 yards) but bounced back with a par on hole two and followed up with a birdie on hole three (par 3, 152 yards). The freshman parred the next three holes, before giving up a bogey on hole 7 (par 3, 169 yards). Weaver parred hole eight and finished the front with a birdie on hole nine (par 4, 360 yards) to make even par.
Weaver nabbed four birdies on the back nine while making par on four holes for a three under-par 33.
Weaver led the field with 15 birdies and par-5 scoring (3.90, -3).
Campbell, who had back-to-back three-under par 69s, continued her strong play on the final day as she was par-or-better over the final 25 holes, turning in six birdies and 19 pars from the 12th hole from the second round on Monday through Tuesday's final round.
She finished the tournament second in par-3 scoring (2.83, -2), par-4 scoring (3.93, -2) and ranked third in pars with 39.
Sophomore Ashley Armstrong(Flossmoor, Ill.) tied for fifth carding a two-under-par 70 for the final day. She was three-over-par 219 (77-72-70) for the 54-hole tournament.
In Tuesday's final round, Armstrong finished even par on the front nine gathering birdies on holes two (par 4, 319 yards) and hole five (par 4, 379 yards) as the sophomore shot par or better through the first seven holes.
Armstrong put together a fantastic finish as she parred eight straight holes to open up the back nine. The sophomore finished out her final round with birdies on hole 17 (par 5, 490 yards) and hole 18 (par 4, 382 yards). The 2012 BIG EAST medalist fired par or better on 26 of the 27 holes on the back nine throughout the contest. Armstrong led the field with 41 pars and gathered six total birdies.
Armstrong has now achieved eight rounds at even or under par this season.
Junior Kristina Nhim(Cypress, Calif.) wrapped up her final round with a two-over-par 74, tying for eighth.
Nhim was one over on hole two, but recovered with five-straight holes of shooting par or better. Nhim made birdie on hole 6 (par 4, 340 yards) and finished the front at two-over-par.
The junior parred her first three holes on the back nine. Nhim made bogey on hole 13 (par 4, 358 yards) and hole 18, but cancelled them out with birdies on hole 14 (par 5, 490 yards) and hole 17 to match her two-over-par score for the third straight round on the back nine.
Nhim ranked fifth in the field with 35 pars through the three-day span and made eight birdies. The eight birdies are the most she has acquired in any tournament this season.
Kelli Oride(Lihue, Hawaii) tied for 14th place carding a two-over-par 74 on the final day for a three-day total of an 11-over-par 227 (77-76-74).
Oride tied yesterday's front nine hole score with a one-over-par. The sophomore surrendered one less bogey from Monday's round for a total of two on the front on the day. Her final round on the front nine was the most consistent out of the three days as she parred six holes and made birdie on hole three.
Oride parred her first five holes on the back nine before shooting one over on hole 15 (par 3, 130 yards). The sophomore birdied hole 16 (par 4, 368 yards) and parred the final par five on hole 17 (490 yards) to finish the back four-over-par 76.
Oride parred 31 of the 54 holes and attained at least two birdies each round.
The Irish now hold a 111-32-0 record (.776) for the 2012-13 season through the 10 tournaments played. Notre Dame posted a 13-0 record this season against the BIG EAST teams concluding today's championship. The Irish now will await their assignment for the NCAA Central Regional set for May 9-11. Follow UND.com for full coverage of the 2013 women's golf NCAA tournament.
TEAMS: 1. Notre Dame 861 (294-285-282) 2. Louisville 875 (287-293-295) 3. St. John's 904 (302-303-299), 5. South Florida 913 (305-307-301), 6. Seton Hall 914 (301-302-311), 7. Georgetown 925 (305-309-311), 8. Rutgers 929 (304-318-307).