April 19, 2011
PALM HARBOR, Fla. – The 25th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s golf team won its fourth BIG EAST Championship Tuesday at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla. The team recorded a three-round score of 902 (295-297-310/+38) to win over the eight-team field. Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif./Cypress) stayed atop the Notre Dame finishers as the freshman completed the three-day tournament with a six-over par 222.
“We came here to do what we wanted to do, which was win the championship,” head coach Susan Holt said. “Our first two days were solid and clean and fortunately we built up a nice lead because we certainly needed it. We have a lot we need to work on between now and regionals to get us to our next goal, which is NCAA finals.”
Nhim entered the final hole of the tournament in a tie for first place, but dropped a stroke to fall into second place, while Louisville’s Anna-Karin Ljungstrom and St. John’s Harin Lee went into a four-hole playoff and Harin earned the individual top finish.
Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo./Littleton) trailed Nhim with a fourth-place finish. The junior bested her second round score by one stroke as she carded a 75 (+3) in the final day and compiled a 54-hole total of 223 (+7).
Senior So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton Prep Academy) placed seventh among the 40-player field and completed her final BIG EAST Championship with a 229 (+13). The senior capped her BIG EAST career off well as she bested her 2010 performance, a 25th place finish, by 17 strokes.
Senior captain Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) completed the tournament with a 17-over par 233 and an 11th-place finish. Conway improved her 2010 BIG EAST Championship performance by 13 strokes as she recorded a 246 (+30) and a 25th-place finish.
Freshman Nicole Zhang (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll) rounded out the Irish lineup and tied for 12th place. She carded a 234 (+18) in the league tournament.
The Irish completed the tournament in first place and were trailed by Louisville in second place with a 54-hole total of 915 (+51). South Florida moved from a fifth-place tie to third place to complete the contest.
The Irish are now set for the NCAA Regional, to which Notre Dame will play host. Competing teams will compete for advancement to the national championship. There are three regional sites, in addition to Notre Dame: Stetson University and the Central Florida Sports Commission will represent the East and the University of Washington will serve as the host site to the West.
The eight lowest scoring teams, as well as the two lowest scoring individuals that are not a member of the advancing team, from each of the three regional championships qualify for the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. The championship will be held May 18-21, at the Traditions Golf Club in Bryan-College Station, Texas.
Notre Dame Scores
3. Kristina Nhim (73-72-77-222/+6)
4. Becca Huffer (72-76-75-223/+7)
7. So-Hyun Park (73-75-81-229/+13)
11. Katie Conway (78-78-77-233/+17)
T12. Nicole Zhang (77-74-83-234/+18)
1. NOTRE DAME (295-297-310-902/+38)
2. Louisville (308-302-305-915/+51)
3. South Florida (310-315-309-934/+70)
4. Georgetown (307-316-328-951/+87)
5. St. John’s (319-312-325-956/+92)
6. Rutgers (312-319-327-958/+94)
7. Cincinnati (320-325-322-967/+103)
8. Seton Hall (352-336-348-1,036/+172)