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ND Women’s Golf: Nhim called upon to lead young Irish

Isaac Lorton | Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Remove all underclassmen from the Irish roster. Only one name would remain – junior Kristina Nhim.

Barely an upperclassman this year, Nhim will be the most experienced collegiate golfer in the young Notre Dame lineup, which also includes three highly-recruited freshmen and two sophomores. Nhim’s sophomore teammates, who proved themselves as strong golfers last season, are Ashley Armstrong and Kelli Oride.

Nhim said she recognizes the difficulties inherent with being the team’s only upperclassman, but she believes her sophomore teammates will be helpful.

“As the only junior on the team, I know it’ll be challenging at times,” Nhim said. “But, I do have [Ashley Armstrong and Kelli Oride] to rely on for help, in terms of leading and setting an example.”

With a tough schedule ahead, including four tournaments in the fall season, Nhim said she hopes she can be helpful with the many changes the freshmen will encounter.

“My past experience being on the team will hopefully help the freshmen transition into team competition,” Nhim said. “College golf is a completely different atmosphere than competition from when we were in high school.”

Despite Notre Dame’s youth, Nhim said she is not worried about how the team will perform this year.

“The team we have this year is extremely talented in all aspects of the game,” Nhim said. “So, it all just comes down to executing under pressure.”

Nhim has proven her ability to execute under pressure – she has twice been named to the All-Big East team and tied for sixth at the 2012 Big East championship.

Although Nhim has already exhibited her cool demeanor during her college career, she said she does have minor ticks in her habits.

“The only superstitions I have are that I never keep score when we play practice rounds, and I always mark my golf balls the day before,” Nhim said.

This summer, Nhim and her partner Armstrong finished in tied-eighth with a four-over-par at The Pure Silk Collegiate Team Championship in Powell, Ohio. Nhim said she believes playing with her teammate over the summer will be beneficial for the upcoming season.

“The Pure Silk Collegiate got me back into play competitively,” Nhim said. “I had taken some time off, and it was a great experience to be back on the course playing. I also learned a lot about my own game playing with Ashley because she helped me see weaknesses that I could improve on.”

On an individual basis, Nhim said she just wants to help the team win.

“I would just like to be able to contribute score-wise every time we play,” Nhim said.

The team has yet to vote on a captain. Whether or not Nhim is selected, she said she will contribute with experience and advice.

“The best advice I can give to my teammates is to put everything they have into practice to get into the mindset of competing,” Nhim said.

The Irish will begin their season at the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich., on Sept. 15.

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu