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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The Observer

Campbell's consistency leads Irish to title

After capturing the Mary Fossum Invitational title this past weekend, the Irish have jumped out to a fast start — and the same can be said of junior Talia Campbell, who played a major part in the victory, contributing a 9-over-par 225 (73-76-76) to finish fourth in a field of 87 golfers.

Campbell and the rest of the Irish golfers had been awaiting and preparing for this season-opening tournament since last May. She had her best round in the first 18 holes on Saturday morning. She bounced back from bogeys on the second and fourth holes with three birdies on the back nine, ending at a one-over 73 for the morning session.

In the afternoon, Campbell was able to birdie the 10th, 12th and 14th holes for the second time that day, but bogeys on the bookends of the round put her at a 76, still good enough for fifth place heading into the final round.

At that time, Notre Dame was in second place as a team, seven strokes behind the tournament host, Michigan State. Despite being near the top of the 15-team field, Campbell said she and the rest of the team were not content with their position.

“We were actually a little disappointed to put ourselves in a position where we have to make up strokes on the last day,” she said. “We came in expecting to win ... and we were confident the whole time that we were going to get it done.”

The Irish — led by the consistent play of Campbell throughout the weekend — were able to do just that. With a final-round team score of 307, Notre Dame was able to make up 11 strokes on the Spartans and win the tournament by four strokes.

Despite double-bogeys on the 11th and 17th holes Sunday, Campbell was able to shoot consistently for most of the round, firing a 76 for the day. Her tournament score of 225 was enough to finish with a share of fourth place, four strokes behind the individual champion, junior Meghan MacLaren from Florida International.

“It was definitely nice to get the [team] win and play pretty well [individually],” Campbell said. “We've been investing a lot of time and effort in our game, and it was a good validation to come from behind and win.”

Her fourth-place finish was the second best in her Notre Dame career, behind a medalist performance in the 2013 Big East championship as a freshman, which also was the last tournament the Irish had won until this past weekend.

“It was good to see that we got a win with a team effort this weekend,” Campbell said. “I think that's a great sign moving forward as we're all beginning to hit our stride early in the season.”

Despite her personal success and the team win, Campbell said there is still a lot of work to be done.

“We can definitely work on minimizing our mistakes, and we're [going] to have to [keep] moving forward,” she said. “Our schedule is going to get a lot tougher as we play ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 teams. ... Everything we're doing throughout the season is a work in progress working towards May [for the NCAA regional and national championships].”

Campbell and the rest of the Notre Dame squad will compete in their next tournament, the Schooner Fall Classic, starting Oct. 4 in Norman, Oklahoma.