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ND Women’s Golf: Irish capture win in Mary Fossum Invitational

Meaghan Veselik | Monday, September 27, 2010

The Irish came back from second place to win Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. Sunday.

Notre Dame’s final score of 890 (+26) was five under second place Kent State’s total and six under defending champion Michigan State’s final tally.

Irish freshman Nicole Zhang captured the individual title in a record-breaking performance with a three-round total of 207 (69, 67, 71), nine fewer strokes than the second finisher.

Zhang bested the previous individual record by seven strokes.

“[I’m] very pleased overall with the team’s performance,” Irish coach Susan Holt said. “It is a big boost of confidence to know that you can come from behind and beat two great programs in Kent State and Michigan State on their home course and win.”

The first day of the tournament saw the Irish post a 593 (17-over par) to put them in second, two strokes behind Kent State after 36 holes. Notre Dame’s collective strokes amounted to 298 in the first round and 295 in the second.

Zhang led the scoring field from the start, but seniors So-Hyun Park and Katie Conway, junior Becca Huffer and freshman Kristina Nhim built on her performance. Park hit a 75 (+3) in each of the two rounds while Huffer carded a total 153 (+9). Nhim followed at 154 and Conway at 160 to close the 36-hole day.

“Nicole set the pace on Saturday and she got more support from her teammates on Sunday with Becca Huffer shooting 73 and So-Hyun Park shooting 75,” Holt said.

The Irish improved in the 18-hole round on the second day of the tournament, shooting a 297 to put them in front of Kent State and Michigan State for the victory.

Park continued her solid play with a third round of 75 to finish tied in eighth with a 225. Huffer followed suit, tying for tenth and shooting her best round of the weekend with a 73 and posting a 226 on the weekend. Nhim was not far behind with a final round of 78 to tie for 19th and put her total at 232, while Conway closed out the Notre Dame scorers with a 242 on the weekend, tying for 49th.

Irish junior Kate Allare competed individually in the event, tying for 15th with a three-round finish of 230.

The Irish will look to build off their successful weekend later this week when they host the William K. Warren Invitational at the Warren Golf Course October 2-3.

“We are off to a great start and will work our way through a very competitive remaining fall schedule with a lot of positive energy,” Holt said.