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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Albrecht excels in classroom and on golf course

From the moment Irish junior Emma Albrecht started walking, she started playing golf.

She didn’t really have much say in the matter, being the daughter of two golfers who both played collegiately. But despite the early influence of her parents, Emma has forged her own identity, and has started to establish herself as a leader for Notre Dame. Ranked as high as the 31st best junior player in the nation in the Golfweek/Sagarin junior rankings, Albrecht decided to continue her golf career at Notre Dame, a thousand miles from her hometown of Ormond Beach, Florida.

Irish junior Emma Albrecht warms up on the driving range of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, which took place Aug. 7–13 at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, California.
Photo Courtesy of Emma Albrecht
Irish junior Emma Albrecht warms up on the driving range of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, which took place Aug. 7–13 at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, California.

“It was a mixture of good academics and good athletics,” Albrecht said on her decision to come to Notre Dame. “I wanted a school that was really good at both and Notre Dame clearly offered that.”

In addition to her golfing career, Albrecht highly regards her education. In high school, she graduated salutatorian of her class with 4.58 grade point average, and at Notre Dame is pursuing a degree in science-business. Her strong performance on and off the course has made her a two-time member of the All-ACC Academic Team.

“I think the way I operate is to give everything 110 percent of my effort with whatever I’m doing whether it be on the golf course or in the classroom,” Albrecht said on her approach to athletics and academics. “That’s just always been my mindset.”

Her strong play last season, in which she led the team with a 73.44 stroke average, the second lowest single-season mark in program history, earned her an invitation to the U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Championship this past summer, the 22nd Irish golfer to qualify. Held in Chula Vista, California, at the San Diego Country Club, the Amateur wasn’t Albrecht’s first experience with the tournament, as she was twice selected as an alternate, but it was her first time participating.

“The event was awesome,” Albrecht said on the experience. “I got to play in the best fields in the country, and the best courses. I’m honored I had the privilege to get to play — it was a really good experience.”

Emma’s two-round score from the tournament was 76 and 75 for a total of 151, just one stroke over the cutoff limit of 150 to advance to the next round. And although she was disappointed, Albrecht still was grateful for the opportunity.

“… Kind of disappointing, I played well but I missed the cut by one,” she said. “Hopefully I will be back next year, and I’ve learn from that experience.”

As the Irish head into the season, Albrecht is set to lead the team to new heights after a disappointing 2016-17 season. For Irish head coach Susan Holt, Albrecht’s example is what sets her apart.

“Emma truly leads by example in every facet of being a student-athlete, from the classroom to the weight room to practice and in competition,” Holt said in an email. “With this type of influence on her peers she makes significant contributions to the success of our program daily. I look for her game to continue to improve and with that she will continue to set more records.”

“… Emma has been performing at a pace that has her on track to be one of the best players in program history. Last year she recorded the third best single season stroke average of 73.4.  She advanced to the NCAA regional tournament and had the second-best finish [tied for 13] of any ND player to ever play in that event. I expect Emma to just keep on doing what she does to the best of her ability and with that, the team will benefit. “

With Albrecht at the helm, Holt is looking forward to coaching the Irish this upcoming season.

“I think the team is ready to get back to competing and looking forward to representing Notre Dame women's golf at the highest level,” she said. “This team has a lot of talent, and the key this season is to be consistent day to day so we can maximize the talent we have in tournament play. If we can do that, we will have a very successful season.”

Along with her coach, Emma said she is also excited to get back onto the course with her teammates.

“I think right now everybody’s games look good, and all of us have been practicing all summer and we’re excited to tee it up this weekend,” Albrecht said. “Hopefully we use this as positive momentum and go hit some birdies.”

Albrecht will be looking to build off her summer experiences when she and the team compete in their first tournament next week in Woodbury, Minnesota, at the Minnesota Invitational.