Nov. 11, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Women’s golf head coach Susan Holt has announced the signing of two student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Notre Dame and continue their golf careers at the collegiate level, beginning in the fall of 2010. The two signees include Nicole Zhang of Calgary, Alberta and Kristina Nhim of Buena Park, Calif.
“Nicole and Kristina will be solid additions to a very experienced group of returning players next year,” said Holt. “They are very good friends and will push each other from the start, which will only benefit the team in the end. They told me during their official visit this past weekend that their goal is to make it to the NCAA Finals all four years! That is great to hear because that is the direction in which I am trying to take the program and they will be major factors in getting us there.”
Zhang, who currently attends Bishop Carroll in Calgary, joins the Irish as the 10th-ranked recruit for the class of 2010 according to Golfweek. She is also ranked 13th by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard. She has had a series of impressive results over the past two years on the junior golf circuit, including a sixth place finish at the American Junior Golf Association’s Emerson Junior Golf Classic, which concluded on Aug. 20, 2009. She shot a 219 (71-73-75) at the event. She also finished 31st at the United States Golf Association’s Girls Junior Amateur Championship on July 25, 2009.
Zhang earned another AJGA top-10 finish on July 4, 2009 when she wrapped up play at the Rolex Tournament of Champions in seventh. She fired a 69 in the first round of the event and followed with a 70-75-75 to finish at 289 for the four-round tournament. She has also had great success on the Futures Collegians World Tour, where she has finished in the top-three in each of her last three FCWT starts. Most recently, she finished third at the Terra Lago Open on April 4-5, 2009. She is the younger sister of current Irish men’s golf team member Dustin Zhang.
“Nicole comes in ranked right up there where So-Hyun [Park] and Becca [Huffer] came in at,” added Holt. “With the success those two have had, I am looking forward to the next four years with Nicole. She is a very experienced tournament player that has had a great deal of success. We are very excited to have Nicole join the Lady Irish Golf Family.”
Nhim, who currently attends Cypress High School in Cypress, Calif., is the 43rd-ranked recruit for the class of 2010 according to Golfweek. She has had several impressive finishes on the junior golf circuit in the past year alone. At the American Junior Golf Association’s Junior at Wenatchee, which concluded on Aug. 13, 2009, she posted a ninth-place finish. She also had top-10 finishes at two other AJGA events in 2009, namely the Trader Joe’s Junior Championship (eighth) and the West Junior Open (eighth). She also competed on the Southern California Junior PGA Tour (SCPGA). In her three SCPGA events of the 2009 season, she finished 18th, second and eighth, respectively, with her second place finish coming at the Toyota Tour Cup event at Warner Springs on April 18-19.
“Kristina is a player that is also very accomplished and her best days of golf are yet to come,” said Holt. “We are fortunate that she will have those best days as a member of the Lady Irish Golf Family.
Zhang and Nhim represent Holt and assistant coach Kyle Lynne Veltri’s third consecutive highly touted recruiting class. They have now brought in four top-25 ranked recruits in Katie Conway, So-Hyun Park, Becca Huffer and Zhang.
Holt and the 2009-10 Notre Dame women’s golf team open their 2010 spring season on Feb. 22 at the Central District Invitational at the River Wilderness Country Club in Parish, Fla.
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