Freshman Nicole Zhang

Irish Women's Golf Makes History Happen

May 7, 2011

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s golf team made history Saturday during the 2011 Central Regional at the Warren Golf Course in Notre Dame, Ind. as the squad earned a fifth-place finish, which secured a trip to the NCAA Finals for the first time in program history. The team recorded a three-day total of 901 (+37) to qualify. Freshman Nicole Zhang (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll) carded a two-over par 74 in her final round for a three-round total of 223 (+7), which earned her an eighth-place finish.

Zhang registered a birdie on the seventh hole and recorded par score on the eighth and ninth holes to conclude the day.

Freshman Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif./Cypress) was the top finisher for the Irish and tied for 14th place overall during the third round as she registered an even-par 72 to conclude the tournament. Nhim finished the three-day tournament with a 224 (+8) and improved during each round. The freshman recorded a 77 Thursday, followed by a 75 Friday and a 72 Saturday. She was one-over par through holes 11 to 17, before carding a birdie on 18 and then another on the second hole to be at one-under par. A bogey on the fourth hole placed Nhim at par, which she maintained through the final five holes.

Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo./Littleton) finished at two-over par in the final round to record a 226 (+10) and a tie for 22nd place in the contest. Huffer began the day with a birdie on the 10th hole and remained even through the 14th hole, where she bogeyed. The junior remained even through the back nine, but with bogey scores on the fourth and sixth holes, the junior placed a two-over par score.

Senior So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep. Academy) carded a 78 (+6) in the third round, which made her three-round score 234 (+18) and a 71st place tie. Like Huffer, Park also recorded a birdie on the 10th hole to begin the day, but went through the back nine at two-over par and concluded the back nine at four-over par.

Senior captain Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading) carded an 80 (+8) Saturday for a three-day total of 234 (+15) and a tie for 50th place. The veteran player remained even through the initial first three holes, but completed the back nine at five-over par and with three additional bogeys on the front nine, the senior finished with the eight-over par 80.

No. 1 seeded UCLA claimed the regional crown with a 26-over par 890, followed by LSU in second place at 894 (+30) and Minnesota in third place (897/+33). Arkansas was the fourth-place finisher with a 899 (+35) and Notre Dame rounded out the top-five team finishes with a 37-over par 901.

Lindy Duncan of Duke and Tulane’s Maribel Lopez Porras will compete at the NCAA Finals individually. Porras and Maria Juliana Loza of Chattanooga had a playoff on the 10th hole and Porras made par, while Loza bogeyed, allowing the Tulane student-athlete a trip to the NCAA Finals, which will be held from May 18-21 at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.

Top-8 Teams

1. UCLA (291-301-298-890/+26)

2. LSU (295-303-296-894/+30)

3. Minnesota (301-297-299-897/+33)

4. Arkansas (307-303-289-899/+35)

5. NOTRE DAME (298-305-298-901/+37)

6. Ohio State (306-301-298-905/+41)

7. Stanford (302-306-300-908/+44)

8. Wake Forest (312-304-293-909/+45)

Individual Qualifiers

Lindy Duncan (Duke)

Maribel Lopez Porras (Tulane)

Notre Dame

T8. Nicole Zhang (71-78-74-223/+7)

T14. Kristina Nhim (77-75-72-224/+8)

T22. Becca Huffer (75-77-74-226/+10)

T50. Katie Conway (76-75-80-231/+15)

T71. So-Hyun Park (76-80-78-234/+18)