June 6, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. - The 2011-12 Notre Dame women's golf season came to an end in early May at the NCAA Central Regionals but that doesn't mean that playing golf ended for members of the Irish team as they remain in action on an individual basis.
Three members of the team - recently graduated senior Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo.), freshman Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.) and incoming freshman Lindsey Weaver (Scottsdale, Ariz.) - were busy attempting to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Women's Open that will be played July 5-8 at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis.
For Huffer and Weaver, qualifying was a success, as both golfers will be in Wisconsin the first weekend in July. Armstrong will have to wait as she finished tied for third in her qualifier and is an alternate. She will need someone to pull out of the prestigious tournament to get her chance to play.
Huffer capped a busy week on June 3, by winning her qualifier at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., playing 36 holes with rounds of 70 and 75 for a three-over par total of 145. That gave her the qualifier championship with a six-stroke win over Kelly Jacques in the field of 70 golfers. Huffer, Jacques and Sarai Anya Alvarez all advanced to the U.S. Open.
Just two days before playing the 36-hole qualifier, Huffer, who graduated on May 20 with an industrial design degree from Notre Dame, was wrapping up her first tournament as a professional as she finished second in the HealthONE Colorado Women's Open. That tournament was played at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colo.
In the 54-hole event, Huffer, a two-time Colorado high school state champion, finished second with a one-under par total of 215. She opened with an even-par 72 in the opening round and followed with a two-under par 70 on the second day of the tournament. Huffer entered the final round of the tournament trailing by two strokes to eventual winner Joy Trotter. Huffer took the lead on the 14th hole, but bogeyed three of the final four holes to finish second. She took home a paycheck of $6,350 for her first pro event.
Joining the former Irish captain at the U.S. Women's Open next month will be Weaver who will begin play for the Irish next September. The highly rated amateur qualified for the Open on May 23 at the Terravita Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., where she tied for the top spot with Lizette Salas. Both golfers shot rounds of 71 and 69 for four-under par totals of 140.
Weaver is in the midst of an outstanding 2012 season includes her winning her eighth career AJGA tournament earlier this year, giving her AJGA wins in a record seven consecutive seasons since she was 12 years old. On Feb. 26, at the Apache Course at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, she posted a 59 in a PING Junior Interclub match. Weaver's 59 is just the second shot by a female golfer as she follows a 59 that was shot in 2001 by women's Hall of Fame golfer Annika Sorenstam at the Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix. Included in Weaver's 59 was an eagle on the par-five, 18th hole as she sunk an eight-foot putt on her third shot to break 60.
Armstrong continued her 2011-12 season as she participated in the U.S. Open qualifier on May 29 at Glen Echo Country Club in St. Louis, Mo., where she tied for third with Nicole Vandermade with both players being alternates. They each shot two-over par 144 totals for 36 holes with Armstrong opening with a 74 in her first round before notching a 70 on the second 18. Isabelle Beisiegel and Brooke Pancake were the two qualifiers as they shot 141 and 142 respectively.
Armstrong turned in an impressive freshman year at Notre Dame in 2011-12 as she was the individual winner at the BIG EAST Tournament and was selected as the BIG EAST freshman golfer of the year. An all-BIG EAST selection for the Irish, Armstrong was second on the team to Huffer with a 75.62 scoring average on the year while recording one top 10 finish and six top 20 finishes in 10 tournaments.