Tori Smith Interview
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy women’s golf returns to action this weekend for the Patriot League Women’s Golf Championship on Saturday and Sunday at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa. Action on both days begins at 8:30 a.m. Fans are not permitted to attend the event this weekend.
The Midshipmen are set to take part in their eighth league championship in program history. Navy is coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes at the championship after finishing second to Richmond in 2018 and second to Boston University in 2019.
The 2021 event is set to take place at the Saucon Valley Country Club and the six-team field will play on the Grace Course, which is a par-72, 6,302-yard layout. The tournament is scheduled for 54 holes with 36 being played on Saturday and 18 on Sunday. Joining Navy in the field is Boston, Bucknell, Holy Cross, host Lehigh and Richmond.
Through three events this spring, the Midshipmen have a team average of 320.1, but they produced their lowest scores of the season during their last event at The Dual at Prospect Bay. In the head-to-head match against Mount St. Mary’s, Navy first shot a 21-over par 309 and then lowered its score to 19-over par 307 during the second round to finish at 40-over par 616 to beat the Mountaineers.
Christine McDonnell leads the Midshipmen heading into the Patriot League Championship with an average of 79.1 over seven rounds this season. In her career, the senior captain holds the program record for average at 76.0. Stephanie Lee ranks second on the team with a 79.9 average through three events.
Navy’s lineup is slated to include McDonnell, Lee, Mara Hirtle, Tori Smith, Angelina Chan and Eve Worden.
Following McDonnell and Lee in scoring this season is Hirtle at 80.1 and Smith with an average of 81.3 as the quartet are the only four to play all seven rounds for the Midshipmen this season. Chan and Worden have each played four rounds this spring to post averages of 83.5 and 87.3, respectively.
McDonnell is one of five golfers in the field that are returning All-Patriot Leaguers after she earned first-team honors in 2019. She is joined by fellow first-teamer, Boston’s Hanako Kawasaki – who was named Golfer of the Year after winning medalist honors in 2019. Boston’s Zhangcheng Guo, Lehigh’s Angela Ding and Richmond’s Lizzie Reedy also return after earning second-team honors in 2019.
The winner of the Patriot League Championship will earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where the regionals are scheduled for May 10-12.