SMC at MIAA NCAA #2
Belles Blister Blackthorn
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The #5 Saint Mary's golf team demonstrated just why they have earned that national ranking and the 2009 MIAA Championship on Friday when they shot a 311 at Blackthorn Golf Club in the second of three MIAA NCAA qualifying rounds.
Heading into today's competition, the Belles trailed Olivet by five strokes in the three-round spring conference season that determines the league's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championships in May. The Belles used an MIAA course record 311 to erase that deficit and now lead second-place Olivet by 28 strokes after the Comets finished second with a 344. As a team, the Belles combined to have 10 birdies on the day while also setting a Saint Mary's record for the lowest score in an MIAA 18-hole competition.
The Belles had outstanding individual performances as the top five finished first, second, tied for third, sixth, and tied for 11th. Leading the way was junior Mary Kate Boyce, who fired a two-over 74 to earn medalist honors. The 74 ties Boyce for an MIAA record for the lowest 18-hole round in league competition while also giving her an MIAA course record at Blackthorn.
Natalie Matuszak and Rosie O'Connor also turned in sub-80 scores for the Belles. Matuszak finished in second with a 76 while O'Connor was right behind her with a 77 to finish tied for third place overall.
Christine Brown had her second consecutive round of 84 to round out the top four scorers for Saint Mary's while finishing sixth. Perri Hamma carded an 89 to finish in a tie for 11th as all five scoring-eligible players for the Belles were below 90 on the day.
Megan Ryan and Cara Kielty both played as individuals on the day for the Belles. Ryan shot a 95 while Kielty had a 99 on the afternoon.
The Belles are scheduled to host the final MIAA NCAA qualifying round tomorrow afternoon at the University of Notre Dame's Warren Golf Course beginning at 1:00 p.m. The team with the lowest stroke total over the three qualifying rounds will receive the conference's automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III Championships next month.