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Sunday, May 26, 2024
The Observer

Irish golfers able to finish fall season, spring championships cancelled

While the Irish women’s golfers did not earn high placements in their tournaments this past season, strong individual performances seem to indicate a bright future for the team.

Notre Dame’s young core showcased the program’s talent in many of the competitions. Sophomore Claire Albrecht led the Irish with a 73.29 stroke average and had an especially memorable showing at the Schooner Fall Classic, placing seventh.

Irish Sophomore Claire Albrecht putts during an exhibition match at the Warren Golf Course on Aug. 24, 2018.

Freshman Lauren Beaudreau proved herself to be one of college’s best newcomers with a 73.50 average and the fifth-best score at the Westbrook Invitational. Junior Abby Heck and freshman Madelyn Jones also averaged under 74, and the whole team was improving rapidly before the COVID-19 cancellations. When asked about the trajectory season, head coach Susan Holt remarked on the team’s spring accomplishments and said she is excited about the future.

“For the spring, we’ve had two really useful practice trips down to Florida and had a good first event,” Holt said. “It felt like the girls were really starting to pick up some momentum, and we were getting ready to host our event out in Arizona over spring break. We were ready to make up some ground from the fall and position ourselves for the postseason. I think we felt like we had a good chance to do that. We had a lot of really good positives this year. We never had four players average 73 or better in the history of our program, and that happened this season. All four of those players will be returning next year, which is great for the future of our program.”

Because of the current pandemic, many of the spring’s most exciting tournaments like the Clover Cup, Clemson Invitational, Bryan Invitational, and ACC championships were canceled. All of Notre Dame’s players had to return home and find ways to maintain their competitive edge without official competitions. Holt shared how the Irish dealt with these challenging circumstances and said she was proud of their positive outlook.

“It’s been different for every player in regard to golf course access based on their home state,” Holt said. “Some players have had course access for the whole quarantine, which has been great. Thankfully, at this point, everybody has been able to get out and play in practice. As far as being connected as a team, we have our group text, and we do a team Zoom call once a week. On their own, they’ve been getting together through Google Meet, so I think that they’ve handled this whole situation really well. I’m sure there is a lot of disappointment with not being on campus and not being able to continue to compete as a team. However, I’m impressed with their positivity and commitment to finishing off the semester strong academically.”

With the premature end to the season, Notre Dame is already focusing on next year. The team is confident they will be a threat in the ACC, and Holt outlined the Irish’s high expectations for when collegiate competition resumes.

“Every year, our expectations and goals are to strive for the conference championship and to be competitive on the national level,” Holt said. “I feel really good about next season based on our progress this year. We have a really young team. We had two freshmen and a sophomore consistently in the lineup. Another freshman, Jess Meyers, came in and played really well for us as well. We also have two talented recruits coming in, so we should be in a great position for the future.”