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ND Women’s Golf: Irish hold top spot at tourney

Laura Coletti | Tuesday, April 19, 2011

After two rounds of play, the No. 25 Irish remain in first place in the Big East tournament in Palm Harbor, Fla. Notre Dame’s cumulative score of 297 (+9) Monday, coupled with a 295 (+7) from the first round was good enough to increase its lead over second-place Louisville to 18 strokes. Notre Dame is 16 over par overall.

Junior Becca Huffer and senior So-Hyun Park are tied for third place individually. Huffer ended day one in first place, but dropped to third after finishing day two four strokes over par.

The Irish have also received solid performances from freshmen Kristina Nhim and Nicole Zhang, who are currently in second and eighth place, respectively. Nhim improved her first-round score by one stroke Monday to finish at an even-par 72, good enough to move into second place. Rounding out the Irish roster is senior Katie Conway, who ended the second day of play tied for 13th individually.

After two consistent days of golf, Notre Dame is looking to finish strong and bring home the conference title with just one round remaining today.

“We are the best ranked team in the field and we know it is our tournament to win,” Park said.

Park and fellow senior Conway are particularly motivated to win a championship and end their conference careers with an exclamation point.

“I think our big team goal is to win [the] Big East,” Conway said. “On a personal note, I’d like to finish my career on a high note.”

Lurking in the field behind Notre Dame and Louisville are third-place Georgetown (307, +47) and fourth-place South Florida (310, +49). Individually, Nhim, Park and Huffer will try to catch St. John’s Harin Lee, who shot a 36-hole total of 142 (-2).

The Irish start the final leg of their championship quest Tuesday morning.