PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team heads to Bryan, Texas, Wednesday for the 2011 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship. The first of four rounds of competition begin at 8 a.m. CT on Wednesday, May 18, and continue through Saturday, May 21. The Fighting Irish are one of 24 teams participating in the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship, hosted by Texas A&M.
It is the first trip to the NCAA Championship in program history for the Irish, who qualified after placing fifth at the NCAA Central Regional at Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Ind., May 5-7.
The Irish were one of 17 teams ranked among the top 50 who were competing at the Central Regional. The team struggled to a 17-over-par 305 in the second round, but responded by shooting 10-over par on the final 18 holes.
“I really felt [the team] worked really hard for this moment and for them to step up and show that they could get it done was nice,” said fifth-year coach Susan Holt, 2011 BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
A pair of freshmen led the Notre Dame charge at the Central Regional, helping the Irish to a three-round total of 901 (+37). Freshman Nicole Zhang paced the Irish, tying for eighth with a three-day score of 223 (+7). Zhang fired rounds of 71, 78 and 74. Freshman Kristina Nhim and junior Becca Huffer also had top-25 finishes. Nhim tied for 14th with a score of 224 (+8), while Huffer tied for 22nd with a total of 226 (+10).
“There were a lot of unknowns heading into [the final round] because it is uncharted territory for our program,” said Holt. “This needs to become the norm for our program rather than the exception and I think this is a step in that direction.”
Notre Dame won the 2011 BIG EAST Women’s Golf title, the fourth BIG EAST title for the school.