Oct. 18, 2011
Carmel, Ind. – Notre Dame senior women’s golfer Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo.) captured her first career individual title as she fired a one-under par 71 in the final round of play at the Hoosier Fall Invitational Tuesday afternoon to finish three strokes ahead of Wichita State’s Gretchen Huhnerkoch. Huffer fired a 54-hole total of four-over par 220, jumping from a fourth-place tie after 36 to first at the end of the tournament.
The tournament was played at the par-72, 6,196-yard Crooked Stick Golf Club with 36 holes on Monday and a finishing 18 holes on Tuesday.
As a team, Notre Dame finished second to Eastern Michigan as the team title came down to the final holes with the Eagles edging the Irish by one stroke, 912 to 913. Notre Dame led the tournament after 36 holes by four strokes over the University of Illinois and six over Eastern. The Eagles shot a 303 for their final round to go with 303-306 for a 54-hole total of 912. Notre Dame shot 306-297-310 for its final total of 49-over par 913. The second-place finish was tops for the Irish this season.
Illinois finished third with rounds of 314-293-311 for a 918, six strokes behind Eastern Michigan and five behind Notre Dame. Nebraska was fourth with a 311-302-311-924 and Indiana, the host school, finished fifth with a 317-307-302-926.
Joining Huffer in the top five was freshman teammate Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii), who tied for fourth with a 78-73-74 to finish with a nine-over par 226. The tie for fourth was the best of her young Notre Dame career.
Huffer started the day trailing another freshman teammate, Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.) for the lead by three strokes and quickly fell another stroke behind as Armstrong birdied the first hole to move four ahead. From there, the two players saw their games go in different directions.
After a bogey at three, the senior birdied the fifth and then eagled the par 5 ninth to move to two-under for the front nine. From there, she would put together eight pars and a bogey for her one-under par 71, tying for the second-lowest round of her career. She eventually took the lead and held on to it as Huhnerkoch, who was tied with Huffer after 36 holes, Eastern Michigan’s Sarah Johnson and Oride took runs at passing her, only to see the senior hold them off on the way to the three-stroke win.
She becomes the first Notre Dame women’s golfer to finish first since Nicole Zhang won the 2010 season opener at Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational.
Huhnerkoch was second with a seven-over par 223 (72-77-74). Johnson finished third with an eight-over par 224 (75-75-74). Oride shared fourth place with Nebraska’s Madeleine Sheils with nine-over 225.
Oride started the day tied for eighth after a 78-73-151 on Monday. She started slowly with bogeys on the first two and three of the first five holes she played before birdies at nine, 14 and 16 but her right behind Huffer in the battle for the top spot as she finished with a two-over par 74 for the day.
Indiana’s Kristtini Cain and Illinois’ Hailey Koschmann tied for sixth at 226 while Briana Cooper (Illinois State), Christina Vosters (Penn State) and Eastern Michigan’s Shannon Warner rounded out the top 10 with 11-over par marks of 227.
Following Oride for the Irish was Armstrong who finished tied for 23rd with a 233 after a difficult final round that saw her shoot an 87.
Senior Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz.) tied for 36th in the tournament with a 238 after rounds of 77, 81 and 80. Sophomore Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif.) tied for 60th overall with a 249 on rounds of 84-80-85.
Coach Susan Holt’s Irish will close out the fall schedule in 10 days when they travel to Wilmington, N.C., on Oct. 28-30 to participate in the Landfall Tradition held at the Country Club of Landfall. Notre Dame was sixth at that tournament a year ago.
TEAM RESULTS (54-hole totals): 1. Eastern Michigan 303-306-303-912; 2. Notre Dame 306-297-310-913; 3. Illinois 314-293-311-918; 4. Nebraska 311-302-311-924; 5. Indiana 317-307-302-926; 6. Penn State 305-315-308-928; 7. Wichita State 307-311-312-930; 8. Gonzaga 316-308-312-936; 9. Missouri 323-307-321–951; 10. Western Michigan 327-306-322-955; t11. Toledo 329-316-316-961; Illinois State 330-321-312-961; 13. Ball State 334-326-326-986.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 77): 1. Becca Huffer (Notre Dame) 76-73-71-220; 2. Gretchen Huhnerkoch (Wichita State) 72-77-74-223; 3. Sarah Johnson (Eastern Michigan) 75-75-74-224; t4. Kelli Oride (Notre Dame) 78-73-74-225; Madeleine Sheils (Nebraska) 77-76-72-225; t6. Kristtini Cain (Indiana) 79-74-73-226; Hailey Koschmann (Illinois) 76-72-78-226; t8. Brianna Cooper (Illinois) 79-75-73-227; Christina Vosters (Penn State) 73-78-76-227; Shannon Warner (Eastern Michigan) 73-74-80-227.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (of 77): 1. Becca Huffer (Notre Dame) 76-73-71-220; t4. Kelli Oride (Notre Dame) 78-73-74-225; t23. Ashley Armstrong 75-71-87-233; t36. Katie Allare 77-81-80-238; t60. Kristina Nhim 84-80-85-249.