Sept. 14, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The University of Notre Dame women's golf team battled a difficult Forest Akers West Golf Course layout Saturday during the first day of the 30th annual Michigan State Mary Fossum Invitational. The Irish fired rounds of 299-301-600 to claim solo third place entering the third and final round of play on Sunday.
The average individual player score during the first two rounds for all players in the field was more than six strokes above the course's par-72 (78.45). Members of the Notre Dame starting five carded only one round that exceeded the average mark to begin the tournament.
"Overall I thought the girls really hung in there on what was a long day, playing 36 holes," Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt said. "It was a day of patience and endurance for sure. All in all it was a pretty good day for us, a little sloppy at points, and we just have to clean that up."
Junior Kelli Oride was the most consistent Irish player during the opening rounds, birdieing a pair of holes as part of an even par 72 before carding a two-over 74 in the second round to tie for fourth place at 146 (+4). The Lihue, Hawaii native birdied the 322-yard par-4 fourth hole during her opening round to key a front nine score of 36 (E). She added a birdie at the par-5 17th hole to offset two bogeys for the round of 72.
Oride made a total of 16 pars during her second round, including all nine holes on the back side to post 74 and close three shots off the overall lead.
Junior Ashley Armstrong, making her first start of the season, joined Oride and sophomore Talia Campbell in the top 25, logging rounds of 76-75-151 to tie for 19th place. Armstrong birdied a total of five holes Saturday, playing the four par-5 holes at Forest Akers West in even par (two birdies).
Campbell contributed a pair of birdies on par-5's during her opening round, putting together a 75-77-152 opening day to claim a share of 22nd place.
Freshman Jordan Ferreira (79-75-154) and senior Kristina Nhim (76-78-154) rounded out the Notre Dame starting lineup after day one, tying for 34th place. Ferreira made back-to-back birdies at the 184-yard 12th and 504-yard 13th holes as part of a one-under par 35 on her second round back nine in difficult course conditions.
"The greens here are large, they are undulated and are rolling at a pretty fast speed, they are quick," Holt said. "The course itself is playing pretty long, and the rough is very thick. You have to keep it in the fairway off the tee all the way to the greens. You can make some quick bogeys out here if you draw a bad lie, and that makes it hard to advance the full distance to the green and you have to rely more on your short game."
Michigan State's Liz Nagel will carry a one-stroke lead into the final round after opening with a four-under par 68 and carding an afternoon 75 (68-75-143, -1), making her the only golfer in the 93-player field under par. Teammate Allyssa Ferrell (72-72) and Ohio State's Illen Domela (71-73) are tied for second place at even par 144, while Oride and Miami's Leticia Ras-Anderica (74-72-146, +4) make up the rest of the top five.
Michigan State enters Sunday with an eight-shot advantage in the team competition after compiling opening rounds of 288 and 296 (584, +8). Ohio State logged the runner-up score of the day by totaling a combined 296-296-592 (+16), with Notre Dame, Oregon (303-299-602, +26) and Northwestern (302-302-605, +29) rounding out the five best squads.
The third and final round of the Mary Fossum Invitational will begin with a shotgun start Sunday at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
"We are in a nice spot right now, we just have to show up tomorrow and get it done," Holt said. "We will need to clean up some of the things that didn't go so well today. If we can get in the mindset of hitting fairways and greens we will be able to save some shots tomorrow and hopefully move up (the leaderboard)."
Mary Fossum Invitational-Forest Akers West Golf Course-Par-72, 6,236 Yds.
TOP-10 TEAMS (After Round 2): 1. Michigan State 288-296-584, +8; 2. Ohio Stae 296-296-592, +16; 3. Notre Dame 299-301-600, +24; 4. Oregon 303-299-602, +26; 5. Northwestern 302-303-605, +29; 6. Miami 305-302-607, +31; 7. East Tennessee State 306-303-609, +33; 8. Florida International 305-305-610, +34; 9. Toledo 312-301-613, +37; 10. Eastern Michigan 311-309-620, +44.
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS (After Round 2): 1. Liz Nagel (Michigan State) 68-75-143, -1; T2. Allyssa Ferrell (Michigan State) 72-72-144, E; T2. Illen Domela (Ohio State) 71-73-144, E; T4. Kelli Oride (Notre Dame) 72-74-146, +2; T4. Leticia Ras-Anderica (Miami) 74-72-146, +2; T6. Kelly Grassel (Michigan State) 73-74-147, +3; T6. Kaitlin Park (Northwestern) 73-74-147, +3; T6. Jessica Porvasnik (Ohio State) 74-73-147, +3; T9. Shelby Coyle (FIU) 76-72-148, +4; T9. Allison Harper (Ohio State) 76-72-148, +4.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (After Round 2): T4. Kelli Oride 72-74-146, +2; T19. Ashley Armstrong 76-75-151, +7; T22. Talia Campbell 75-77-152, +8; T34. Jordan Ferreira 79-75-154, +10; T34. Kristina Nhim 76-78-154, +10; T90. Janie Fineis 88-86-174. +30.*
*- competing as an individual