ODU women’s golf team: “Fighting all the way around”

These girls are good!

And if anyone knows how to hit a golf shot – it would be Samantha Morrell. The senior is Old Dominion’s top ranked golfer – and when she graduates this spring, she will leave behind a list of record setting achievements that will be difficult to duplicate.

She is ODU’s first Rookie Golfer of the Year. She is the all-time leader in top ten finishes. And she is already in their Golf Hall of Fame.

“I think it is a wonderful experience. I came from Rhode Island, and to play golf down here in the south – it is a dream come true!”

Here’s something else that is a reality – Samantha is Old Dominion’s first female student athlete in history to be honored as Player of the Week in Conference USA.

“It hasn’t even sunk in that much, but now that you mentioned it, I will be thinking about it now and words can’t describe, I am glad I will be a part of history here.”

In the Bucknell Tournament in Las Vegas, Samantha shot a final round 69 to get the win.

“That was fantastic. It was such a joy to be there. That final round when I shot 69, everything was falling on for me – I made a lot of birdies escpecially on the front nine, that’s what got me the win – just hitting it close and making the putts.”

It’s not just Samantha who has had success this year.

Kimberly Bradbury is starting to find her groove on the course – she picked up the win at Georgia State.

“I did my first one. It just felt incredible. I have been so close for so long, I had a few top five finishes and I always felt so close, but I had one bad round that would kick me out.”

“I managed to shoot 73 – 73 in conditions that I can’t describe, except for typical English weather so the last day I had a six shot lead.”

What’s the best part of her game?

“Fighting all the way around – no matter how hard the course is, I try to stay in the moment and try to stay with what I know what is best – stay within my technique, you never know what a good score is so you just have to hang in there.”

And that’s not all – Elizabeth Hayock’s final round 70 helped lead ODU to the Seahawk Classic Title.

There’s also a little local flavor on this team – Brooke Aldridge is a Grassfield Grizzlie. What’s it like playing for your hometown team?

“It’s amazing, it is one of the best experiences I have ever had. Coming from Grassfield and coming to ODU is a major step and I am appreciative that the coach allowed me to be a walk on and make this team.”

After struggling for the past several years, the team has turned it around. In their last five tournaments, they have four top five finshes.

“There really isn’t that much of a difference, we are the same group of girls. The difference is our coaching, Carol Robertson has taken our morale to really lousy to thinking we can be competitive. We are the ones that people are chasing. Really succeeding because of it.”

“It has been great – I have my expectations and they just go above and beyond it, there are very few coaches that can say that so it has just been great getting to watch them accomplish things, knowing they could, and to get them to actually see it happened and knowing that I had a little something to do with it – it’s a good feeling.”

What’s it like playing golf every day for Old Dominion?

“It’s living a dream, that’s all I can say, I have one more year left, I will cherish every moment. It feels like yesterday that I was just a freshman so will make the most of the nice weather, the nice facilities, and teammates I will have the rest of my life as friends.”

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