Freshman Nicole Zhang

Irish Women Capture The Mary Fossum Invitational Title

Sept. 26, 2010

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EAST LANSING, Mich. – – The University of Notre Dame women’s golf team posted a final round 297 (+9) to finish first at the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. The Irish compiled a 54-hole total of 890 (+26) to begin their 2010-11 season. Nicole Zhang (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Caroll) led the Irish and the individual leaderboard, posting a third round 71 (-1) to run her 54-hole total to 207 (-9).

“We went up there and competed against some of the more competitive teams in our region,” says head coach Susan Holt. “Before this weekend I thought we were solid, but until the first tournament, it’s difficult to gauge where we really are. This weekend really showed us where we stand and I am pleased with the outcome. It meant something to go to Michigan State, play them on their home course and win. In the five seasons I have been at Notre Dame, we haven’t beaten Michigan State or Kent State and the team is aware of that. They certainly stepped up to the challenge this weekend and it paid off.”

The Irish claimed their first Mary Fossum Invitational title in this, their 16th appearance at the tournament. Kent State held the lead entering the day, but carded a 304 (+16) in the final round and dropped into second with a three-round score of 895 (+31), followed by tournament host Michigan State at 896 (+32).

Individually, Zhang finished as the only player (out of 63 entrants) to conclude the tournament under par. She carded red numbers in each of her three rounds, including a closing-round 71 (-1) to finish at 207 (-9). Kent State’s Martina Gavier finished runner-up but was nine shots off the pace of Zhang, posting a 54-hole score of 216 (E).

“I was really proud of Nicole this weekend,” says Holt. “She is a special player for us and she definitely lived up to our expectations.”

Zhang’s inaugural tournament with the Irish cemented her a spot in the program record book. Her 54-hole score of 207 (-9) is the lowest total posted in program history, besting the mark set by Lisa Maunu at the Cougar Classic in 2007-08 when she fired a six-under par 210.

Zhang’s second round score of 67 (-5) also earned a spot in the record book, sitting as the second lowest single-round score in program history. Maunu and current Irish senior So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton (FL) Preparatory Academy) hold the top spot, as each have a six-under par, 66 to their ledger.

The nine-under par shot by Zhang also broke the prior Mary Fossum Invitational individual record, which previously stood at 214 (-2), posted in `07 and `09.

Park finished in second for the Irish at the tournament, carding a 75 (+3) in her final round of play and compiled a 225 (+9) overall, good for a share of eighth place.

Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo./Littleton) placed third amongst the Irish entrants, finishing her tournament at 226 (+10) to tie for 10th place.

Also scoring on the final day for the Irish was freshman Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif./Cypress), carding a 78 (+6) in her final round to tie for 19th place at 232 (+16).

Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) rounded out the Irish field with a third-round score of 82 (+10) to post a 54-hole total of 242 (+26) on the weekend.

Competing individually for the Irish was Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier Prep.). The junior finished in 15th place with a score of 230 (+14).

Notre Dame returns to action next weekend when it plays host to the William K. Warren Invitational at the Warren Golf Course. The two-day tournament will feature two rounds on Saturday with the final round taking place on Sunday. Live stats will be available through, while a full recap will be posted at

Mary Fossum Invitational – East Lansing, Par 72 – 6,348 yards

Top-Five Team Scores (54-hole totals): 1. Notre Dame 890 (+26); 2. Kent State 895 (+31); 3. Michigan State 896 (+32); 4. Iowa State 904 (+40) 5. Long Beach State 935 (+71).

Top-Five Golfers (54-hole scores): 1) Nicole Zhang (Notre Dame/207); 2. Martina Gavier (Kent State/216); 3. Caroline Powers (Michigan State/220); t4. Laurence Herman (Iowa State/222); t4. P. Phuntumabamrung (Iowa State/222).

Notre Dame Scores (54-hole totals): 1. Nicole Zhang (69-67-71); t8. So-Hyun Park (75-75-75); t10. Becca Huffer (76-77-73); t19. Kristina Nhim (78-76-78); t49. Katie Conway (80-80-82); t15. Katie Allare** (76-76-78) ** – competed as an individual