Nov. 11, 2015
by Chris Masters
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Fresh off a fall season that featured a No. 22 national ranking, two tournament wins, four top-five finishes and the lowest fall stroke average in program history (291.36), the University of Notre Dame women's golf team is hardly resting on its laurels.
The Fighting Irish welcomed another standout to their program on Wednesday, when Mia Ayer (Waco, Texas/Midway) signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2016. Ayer made her official commitment to the University during the early signing period that began Wednesday and continues through Nov. 18.
Ayer currently is rated among the top 30 in the nation in the incoming Class of 2016 by all major national services, highlighted by a No. 16 ranking from the National Junior Golf Scoreboard. She also stands 20th in the latest American Junior Golf Association (AJGA)/Polo rankings, 24th in the Golfweek Power 50 rankings, and 27th in the Golfweek/Sagarin junior rankings, marking the third time in four years Notre Dame will add a top-40 golfer to its roster.
"We are so excited to have Mia joining our Notre Dame golf family," Fighting Irish head coach Susan Holt said. "She is the perfect fit, academically and athletically, for our program. By adding her to our other solid recruiting classes in recent seasons, we are building a consistent track record of signing some of the nation's top players year after year.
"Mia has had a lot of success already, but I think her best golf is ahead of her," Holt added. "Coming here will only push her to get better. Surrounding her with the talent we have in place will allow her game to thrive at the college level. Mia has a great work ethic and desire to get better. I especially like how she handles herself on the course during play. She keeps her emotions very level, which is a big plus to playing good golf."
The 2015-16 Fighting Irish return to action Feb. 21-22, 2016, in the Westbrook Spring Invitational, hosted by the University of Wisconsin at the Westbrook Village Golf Club in Peoria, Arizona.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's golf program, visit the women's golf page on the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (UND.com/ndwomensgolf), sign up to follow the Notre Dame women's golf Twitter page (@NDwomensGolf) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
A capsule look at the newest addition to the Fighting Irish women's golf program follows:
MIA AYER (Waco, Texas/Midway High School)
High School: Currently attends Midway High School in Waco, Texas ... won 2015 Texas District 16-6A tournament (142, -2) ... tied for 10th at 2015 Texas Region II-6A Tournament (152, +10), advancing to state tournament on second sudden-death playoff hole ... tied for 32nd at 2015 Texas Class 6A state tournament (162, +18) ... won 2014 Texas District 8-5A tournament (154, +12) ... placed second at 2014 Texas Region I-5A tournament (142, -2) ... tied for eighth at 2014 Texas Class 5A state tournament (148, +8) ... did not play varsity golf as a freshman.
Junior Golf: Compiled 75.76 stroke average in nine American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournaments during 2015 calendar year, posting six top-10 finishes, including runner-up showings at the Insperity Invitational AJGA Junior Championship (73, +1) and Lockton Kansas City Junior (220, +4) ... added four more top-10 finishes, including two tournament wins during 2014 AJGA season ... won 2014 AJGA Junior at Southwind and AJGA/CJGA (Canadian Junior Golf Association) Junior Championship ... finished 10th on points list during 2013 Legends Junior Tour season after posting four top-five finishes, including runner-up placements at Bluebonnet Championship (148, +4) and AJGA Abilene Junior ... registered 77.92 stroke average in 12 tournaments on Texas Junior Golf Tour during 2012-13 season, posting three wins and 10 top-10 finishes ... earned victories at 2013 Fazio Challenge at Stonebriar (153, +9), 2013 Hyatt Hill Country Championship (154, +10) and 2013 Traditions Spring Break Invitational at A&M (151, +7).
Awards/Honors: 2013-14 second-team all-state selection ... two-time all-region choice (first team in 2013-14, second team in 2014-15) ... two-time first-team all-district honoree (2013-14 and 2014-15) ... National Merit Commended Scholar, National Honor Society member ... ranked No. 16 in Class of 2015 by National Junior Golf Scoreboard ... ranked No. 20 by AJGA/Polo rankings ... ranked No. 24 according to Golfweek Power 50 ... ranked No. 27 by Golfweek/Sagarin junior rankings.
Personal Data: Daughter of Dr. Kae Hosoda-Ayer and Dr. Christopher Ayer ... will be the third native Texan to play for Notre Dame, all within the past decade (Stacy Brown from The Woodlands from 2004-07, and current senior captain Talia Campbell, who is from Dallas) ... mother is assistant professor of piano at Baylor University School of Music and is a concert pianist ... father is professor of music at Stephen F. Austin State University and is a renowned clarinetist ... parents have performed together throughout North America and Asia as group called Duo Karudan ... indicated an interest in studying biology at Notre Dame.
Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's golf and women's basketball programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master's degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).