O'Brien's Low Round Helps Belles to Best NCAA Score in Program History
Results, Scores, Stats (pdf)
ANGOLA, Ind. - Doyle O'Brien shot the low round of the day with an even-par 72 to help the Saint Mary's golf team to their best single-round score at the NCAA Championships in program history with a 320.
O'Brien was the lone golfer out of the 101 players in the field to turn in an even-par score on Thursday. The 72 is just the second of the tournament to this point and is only one stroke off the single-round low of 71 shot by Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Catherine Wagner on Wednesday. Moreover, the score is the best individual round score by a Saint Mary's golfer in the NCAA Championship Tournament in program history. The previous best single-round score by an individual was 76, which was recorded by Stefanie Simmerman in the first round of her 2003 NCAA Individual Championship run as well as by teammate Natalie Matuszak in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Championship Tournament.
As a team, the Belles continued to hold steady ground as they sit in 14th place heading into the final day of play on Friday. The team's 320 on Thursday is the best single-round score for Saint Mary's in their history in the NCAA Championship. It is a two-stroke improvement upon the 322 put up by both the 2009 and 2003 Saint Mary's squads. The three-day score of 974 is also the lowest of any of the seven trips the Belles have made to the NCAA Championship. The 14-time defending national champions from Methodist lead the field of 19 teams with a three-day score of 932. DePauw is hot on the Monarchs' heels with a 934 while Williams is well within striking distance in third with a 939.
O'Brien had the 72 after a two-over on the back nine (38) was followed by a two-under on the front nine (34). The sophomore had three birdies with 12 pars on the day. Her three-day score of 227 has her in a tie for third place individually. Wagner leads the hunt for the individual title with a 225 while Emily Bachert of Centre is in second with a 226. O'Brien is tied with St. Olaf's Molly Erickson.
Janice Heffernan turned in the best round of her young collegiate career with an 80 on Thursday. The freshman again improved her score from the previous day with a 41 on the back nine and a 39 on the front nine. She dropped three birdies all on the front nine (par three No. 2, par five No. 7, and par four No. 8). Her three-day total of 246 moved her up into a tie for 55th place individually.
Natalie Matuszak carded an 83 (41-42) on Thursday to help the Belles' cause. She had birdies on the par five fifth, par five seventh, and par four 15th. Her cumulative score of 253 has her in a tie for 78th heading into the final round of play.
Christine Brown wrapped up the team's 320 with an 85 on the day. The senior had a 46 on the back nine before going three-over on the front nine (39) for the Belles. Six of her eight pars came on the front nine holes of play. Brown's score of 258 through three days of play giver her a share of 87th place individually.
Paige Pollak shot an 86 as the Belles fifth scoring-eligible golfer. Pollak followed her 42 on the back nine with a 44 on the front half of the course. She had a birdie on the par three 11th. Her three-round score of 253 puts her in a tie for 78th going into Friday's round.
The Belles will begin the final round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Golf Championship at 8:50 a.m. at the Zollner Golf Course on the campus of Trine University. Saint Mary's will play the final round with Washington University in St. Louis (13th) and Claremont Mudd Scripps (15th).