HUFFER BACK IN THE LAND OF THE FIGHTING IRISH
This weekend, Becca Huffer (Denver, Colorado) returns to South Bend, Ind. where she competed for the University of Notre Dame. Huffer was named the 2009 Big East Freshman of the Year for the Fighting Irish and as a senior, she earned several honors including Notre Dame Golf MVP, Big East Conference Scholar Athlete Sports Excellence Award and NGCA All-American Scholar Team, while also qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
“It’s always super fun to be back. It’s sort of a second home. I get to see my old coaches and am familiar with the area, which is really nice,” said Huffer. “[When I was choosing a school to attend] it being a top academic school and good golf school, as well, definitely helped because that was the kind of colleges I was looking at. It was partially, also family. My older brother and my mom both went to Notre Dame, and eventually my younger brother went. Kind of have a little family connection but that didn’t like drive it, but it ended up being really fun.”
Huffer finished solo 10th at the inaugural LPGA Q-series to earn LPGA membership as a 2019 Tour rookie and captured a season-best that year of 76th in the Marathon Classic presented by Dana. In her time on the Symetra Tour, she has claimed 10 career top-10 finishes and a season-best result in 2021 of a tie for 15th at the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic.
“I was the first person that got LPGA status [from Notre Dame]. They had me on the field during a football game, on the big jumbotron. That blew my mind,” Huffer said. “It was a game against Florida State, right after Q-Series. It was wild and really cool, just having that opportunity,”
BEAUDREAU AND PAULINE PLAYING ON EXEMPTIONS FROM FOUR WINDS CASINO
Four Winds Casino extended tournament sponsor exemptions to two up-and-coming players who are looking to make their mark in the professional ranks. Lauren Beaudreau (Lermont, IL), a current member of the University of Notre Dame women’s golf team, is set to make her first appearance in a Symetra Tour event. She was named to the 2020 WGCA All-American Scholar team and a 2021 ACC All-Academic Team member as a freshman. In 2021, Beaudreau earned her first career win at the Indiana Spring Invite and finished in a tie for 20th at the ACC Championship.
“I’ve always wanted to play in a Symetra Tour event. I’ve seen these girls through college and they’re successful out here. It’s a really nice opportunity to play with such great players,” said Beaudreau. “I was so ecstatic [when I received the news] because I had been practicing really hard this summer and I was really hoping that I could play in this event, especially because it’s so close to Notre Dame. I am glad that my first big pro event is so close to campus and I’m going to have my coaches and some family members come out, so it will be really special.”
Also joining the field this week is Pauline Roussin-Bouchard (Brignoles, France). She officially declared herself a professional this morning and will be competing as a non-member at South Bend Country Club. Most recently, she was a member of the golf team at the University of South Carolina where she was named the 2021 SEC Player of the Year as a sophomore. Roussin-Bouchard made the cut at the Amundi Evian Championship last month, claiming a tied for 38th finish.
“I just loved the experience. Playing in my home country with my family around, it was just a very special week,” said Roussin-Bouchard. “I had a big revenge from the last time I competed there a few years ago, so that made it a special tournament too.”
Roussin-Bouchard has a decorated amateur career including medalist honors at the 2021 SEC Championship, competing in the 2020 European Ladies Team Championship, and being named two-time Palmer Cup participant. One highlight between all her successes was placing third at the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
“I enjoyed having the break after the first two rounds so I could work a little bit and come back stronger on the last round,” said Roussin-Bouchard. “Having so many birdies on Augusta National was just amazing. It’s one of the most well-known golf courses and I really had fun, was a pleasure to be there.”
FINAL LEG OF POTAWATOMI CUP TAKING PLACE
In its eighth consecutive year of competition, the Potawatomi Cup series in 2021 started with the Island Resort Championship from June 11-13 at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, Mich., and continued last weekend at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Battle Creek. It concludes this Sunday at the Four Winds Invitational.
As well as the normal purse payout for each event, players receive “Potawatomi Points” with $30,000 in total bonus money to be distributed over the three participating events. The top players in the points standings receive a sum from the prize pool including $5,000 to the Potawatomi Cup winner at the conclusion of the Four Winds Invitational at South Bend Country Club from Aug. 13-15.
Following the second event, a win for Fernanda Lira (Mexico City, Mexico) launched her into the No. 1 position with 539.50 points. Right behind is Island Resort Championship winner, Morgane Metraux (Laussane, Switzerland). Checking in at No. 3 with 391.67 points and top-10 finishes in the first two events of the series is Maude-Aimee Leblanc (Sherbrooke, Quebec). Current No. 1 in the Race for the Card and two-time winner, Lilia Vu (Fountain Valley, California) has 210.75 points and Sophia Schubert (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) rounds out the top-five competitors at 200.75.
Defending champion Kim Kaufman (Clark, South Dakota) is among the competitors this year. She finished at No. 3 in the 2020 Race for the Card after winning the Four Winds Invitational. Additional past champions of the Potawatomi Cup include Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea), Annie Park (Levittown, N.Y.), Laura Gonzalez Escallon (La Hulpe, Belgium), Benyapa Niphatsophon (Bangkok, Thailand), Maia Schechter (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) and Ssu-Chia Cheng (Taipei, Chinese Taipei) from 2014-2019, respectively.