Oct. 10, 2013
By Staci Gasser
When Irish All-American sophomore Lindsey Weaver made the decision to transfer to Arizona before the 2013 season, the University of Notre Dame women's golf team felt a big hole emerge in its lineup.
But the team's talented underclassmen easily stepped into their roles, particularly freshman Jordan Ferreira.
Ferreira, a highly touted class of 2013 recruit, has started her first college season in an outstanding way. She led all Irish golfers with a five-over-par effort that put her in a tie for eighth place after day one of the 36-hole Indiana University Kickoff at Purgatory Golf Course in Noblesville, Ind. on Sept. 8. Her second-round score of one-over-par was the second-best single round by an Irish golfer on the day, two shots back of junior Kelli Oride's 71.
"Jordan's a very good player, very solid in all aspects of the game," head coach Susan Holt said after the tournament. "College golf puts her in a whole new world of competition, and she should feel very good about her start. I look for her to be very consistent throughout the year and I think she'll do fine."
And as a girl who first picked up a club at the age of eight, she's proven consistency early on so far.
Most recently, Ferreira tied teammate Talia Campbell for 14th place (73-71-144) at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship, Sept. 21, at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., after making three birdies in four holes on her outward nine as part of a front side 35 (-1). She then pared eight of nine holes to cap her final round 71.
"So far, the season has been a lot of fun. It's busy, but I'm enjoying the competition and team atmosphere," Ferreira says.
While adjusting to a college lifestyle, on both athletic and personal levels, may be difficult for some, it's been relatively easy for the University Place, Wash. native, despite being almost 2,200 miles away from home.
"I basically think of it as an extended golf tournament," Ferreira laughs. "I traveled a lot in high school for golf tournaments. Leaving home and my parents was a big step, but my roommate and new friends are great. The whole adjustment worked out well."
Golf-wise, Ferreira sees that the team field is a lot a tougher, the pressure of academics is heavier and the courses are difficult. But it's nothing she can't handle.
The biggest shock to Ferreira in the change from high school to college has been the time management aspect. She said she could procrastinate a lot in high school and still be fine--she averaged a 3.95 GPA--but it's a little different at Notre Dame.
"I now take advantage of every free minute I have," Ferreira confesses.
Ranked No. 24 by the Junior Golf Scoreboard, No. 30 by Golfweek and No. 47 by American Junior Golf Association among the players in the 2013 class, Ferreira was one of the top junior players in that nation and on the Irish radar for three years before committing to the program.
"I first contacted Notre Dame my freshman year of high school," Ferreira recalls. "I was playing a tournament near Notre Dame, so I thought I should go see it."
In the meantime, she helped guide Bellarmine Prep to three undefeated seasons and three Washington 4A state championships and was twice named Washington State Golf Association Girls Player of the Year among many other notable recognitions.
She also caught the eye of other prestigious golf programs such as Wake Forest, Northwestern, UNC, Cal-Berkeley and Virginia, but Notre Dame had what she wanted.
"It has high academics, a great golf team and coaches and there is this community feel when I walked on campus that I love," Ferreira explains.
After a few months here, she now adds having great teammates to the list.
"It's great having friends who have something you can relate to," she says.
While her first three tournaments this season haven't affected her game, they revealed a few weaknesses that Ferreira is now focused on working on. Even though she doesn't show much emotion on the course, she says she needs to focus on each shot, not the next shot or an upcoming test or schoolwork. And that she needs to be better prepared before tournaments.
But her college golf career as only just begun, and the freshman golfer who already has shown much potential in a highly-competitive ACC atmosphere has time to grow.
"I'm looking forward to giving myself and my team on opportunity to win, getting a great education, growing as a person and just having a great four years."