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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

Irish finish Schooner Classic in 14th

The Notre Dame women’s golf team headed out to Norman, Oklahoma to compete in the Schooner Fall Classic at Belmar Golf Club this past weekend. The Irish finished 14th in a competitive field, and the highlight of the weekend was junior Abby Heck’s seventh-place finish. Irish head coach Susan Holt spoke on the successful rounds Heck posted.

“We had some really stellar individual rounds, Abby played just a really solid tournament. I mean, her tie for seventh finish in that field is probably one of the best individual finishes since I’ve been here,” she said. “And we have had kids win tournaments — like, plenty of kids win tournaments, but that field was stacked and loaded with some of the top talent in the country. So it was really impressive for Abby, personally, to have that finish at that particular event. It just shows the talent she has and what she is capable of.” 

Heck finished the tournament with the best round of her career, shooting a 66 on the par 70 course. She tallied six birdies on the day and 10 pars, while only giving up two bogeys. Her score will be etched into the record books as she now shares the honor of the second-lowest scoring round of any golfer at Notre Dame with five others, one of which is her freshman teammate Lauren Beaudreau, who shot a 66 in the second round of the tournament. 

Holt discussed the leadership role Heck has on the squad and how they can each lead one another.

“She can lead by example in a lot of the things that she does, and I think all of our players can do that,” she said. “They really push themselves, and seeing what Abby did, we have other talented players as well and we can push them to try and catch up to her now.”

Irish junior Abby Heck prepares to putt during an Exhibition at the Warren Golf Course on Aug. 24, 2018.
Irish junior Abby Heck prepares to putt during an Exhibition at the Warren Golf Course on Aug. 24, 2018.

Heading into her 14th season at the helm of the Irish squad, Holt spoke on how she has seen the game develop over the past decade, 

“I think the game of college golf has progressed tremendously, as far as the talent,” Holt said. “We’re just trying to stay ahead of it, and it is getting more and more challenging to do that because there are just so many more good players and there is such an influx of international players to our sport … the influx of international players has really impacted our sport, in a positive way. From the standpoint of the quality of players out there, certainly it has elevated play, no question.”

Holt also spoke on her goals and expectations for her team this season.

“Every time we tee it up, we’re wanting to compete, and try to win and that is never going to change … we’re young, we have three freshman on the lineup … it’s a growth process, and a learning process every time we go out,” she said. “Our schedule is incredibly competitive and we do that for a reason. We want to challenge our kids, we don’t want them to have a false sense of reality and where they stand … nobody wants to be playing better more than they do, I can guarantee that.”

Next up for the Irish is the Illinois Women’s Invitational in Chicago at Medinah Country Club. The Irish will compete on Oct. 7 and 8 and will look to further develop their squad of young golfers.