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ND Women’s Golf: Irish end fall slate with strong showing

Megan Finneran | Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Notre Dame ended its fall season with a strong comeback in the final round of the Alamo Invitational at the Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio, Tex., as they moved up from fifth to third place with a three-round total of 882 (+18). No. 18 Notre Dame had sat in fifth after both the first and second rounds of play, which began on Sunday. Texas Christian University took the tournament title with an 877, Texas A&M finished second at 880 and No. 17 Colorado took fourth.

“Our team always goes into tournaments wanting to win, so we’re disappointed we didn’t win, but we did beat two teams ranked ahead of us,” freshman Kristina Nhim said.

Nhim was among three members of the Irish team to finish in the top 10, even though the whole team, except for junior Katie Allare, was sick throughout the duration of the tournament.

Finishing first for the Irish was freshman Nicole Zhang, who took third place overall with a 215 stroke total, coming in one under par. Zhang improved on the final day of play, cutting her individual strokes from 73 the previous day to 70 in the final round. She finished only three strokes behind the first place finisher, TCU’s Brooke Beeler.

Two strokes behind Zhang was Notre Dame senior So-Hyun Park, who tied for fourth with Colorado’s Emily Talley at 217 strokes, ending one over par. Park trimmed her score of 73 in the first round to a pair of 72s in the second and third rounds, an accomplishment considering the difficulties with both the course and weather.

“The hardest part was placing the ball in the right spot on the greens.” Park said. “The weather today was very windy which made the course tougher to play, but we managed to play pretty well and we shot the lowest team score for the day.”

Nhim concluded the tournament tied for ninth with a total of 220 strokes and four over par. The tournament marked her best score on a 54-hole course during the fall season of her rookie year.

“I’m happy I got a top 10, but as always, individual performance can always be improved,” Nhim said.

Rounding out the top five Irish scorers were juniors Becca Huffer and Allare. Huffer took 43rd with 231 strokes and Allare tied for 54th with 234 strokes.

Notre Dame’s 18-over par finish was its second best of the season, which aided in its victory over No. 13 Colorado and No. 17 Tulane.

“Beating two teams that were ranked ahead of us, which will help us move up in the rankings, was the highlight of the tournament,” Park said.

The Irish will have a break from competition for a few months, coming back to the tee with the spring season beginning on Feb. 21 at the Central District Invitational, hosted at the River Wilderness Course in Parrish, Fla.