March 19, 2014
By Staci Gasser
Becca Huffer continues to tee up. Only now, instead of for BIG EAST titles and Fighting Irish pride, it’s for pro rankings and to make a living.
Huffer graduated with honors in industrial design in 2012. Her mother, the former Mary Singer, is a Notre Dame graduate (1979) and was a member of Notre Dame’s first varsity women’s tennis team. Becca's older brother, Christopher, is a 2009 Notre Dame graduate.
The former Notre Dame golf standout recently placed third in the Mesa Gateway Classic at what is now her home course: Longbow Golf Club in Arizona.
Huffer finished nine under par, shooting 70-69-68.
“I thought I played well today and gave myself some birdie opportunities again,” Huffer said after the tournament. “It was awesome to get to play in the event and play the way I know I can play out here and have everyone out here supporting me.”
In front of friends and family members, Huffer eagled the ninth hole and made four birdies on the final day.
Since going pro after graduation in 2012, Huffer has been a three-time winner of the Cactus Tour, the Colorado Women’s Open winner (2013) and runner-up (2012) and has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
“Playing professionally was just something I’ve always thought of doing, especially being able to play college. It’s kind of something where I want to try it, see how it goes and have no regrets,” she says. “I’ve been playing really well especially this year, so it’s been good. It’s obviously been a learning experience.
“I love competing—if I wasn’t doing it, I don’t know how much golf I’d actually be playing.”
During her tenure at Notre Dame, Huffer was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year in the spring of 2009, All-BIG EAST Team for all four years, and finished three of her four seasons as Notre Dame's leader in strokes-per-round average. She also was named Notre Dame Golf MVP in 2010 and 2012, NGCA All-American Scholar Team and was awarded the BIG EAST Conference Scholar Athlete Sports Excellence Award in 2012.
In 2011, she led Notre Dame to its first appearance in an NCAA women's golf championship, and won the Hoosier Fall Invitational in Carmel, Ind.
Playing professionally, however, isn’t quite the same for Huffer.
“It’s a lot different because it’s going back to just playing on your own without a team,” she explains. “That was what was always fun playing for Notre Dame, having the team around, knowing your score was counting towards the team score.
“Playing professional, being out on your own is fun, but there’s a lot of pressure—people paying you to play and hopefully making some money. And there are a lot of girls trying to do the same thing.”
Huffer was able to spend time with her former team this last weekend when the Fighting Irish played for the Clover Cup at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa. She watched them finish one stroke behind first-place finisher, Louisville.
“It was so great cheering them on,” Huffer says. “They were so close.”
Huffer cherishes her time at Notre Dame because it was when she really understood her game.
“I learned a lot about my golf game when I was at Notre Dame. A lot about staying positive and the time management thing, too,” she recalls. “But especially being more positive—one shot at a time—by my senior year I figured that out which has helped me a lot since being out on my own because you are your only support without having the rest of team.”
Huffer is now revving up for the summer, where she will be on the road playing a tournament almost every week from May to September. Her ultimate goal is to get on the LPGA tour, the one thing she is particularly striving for this year.
“It’s busy,” she puts simply.