It took Becca Huffer's best shot, two to be exact, to beat University of Wisconsin golfer Kimberly Dinh and help the former Notre Dame golfer win the Michigan PGA Women's Open at Thompsonville, Mich.
Huffer, 23, a Symetra Tour professional, birdied the final two holes after a 3-hour, 40-minute rain delay to break away and win the 54-hole event at the Mountain Ridge Course at Crystal Mountain Resort.
“I just kept thinking I will need some birdies to finish up,” she said. “When we went to 17 all tied I knew it was time to make something happen if I wanted to finish strong,” she said. “That putt on 17 was the huge one I think. It was 20, 25-feet downhill and when I hit it I was like ‘oh boy, I hope it goes in.’”
Dinh, a Midland, Mich., native who will be a senior at UW, shared second place with Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., a recent Curtis Cup player who was playing in her first pro event. Each closed with 72s for a 207 total and a share of second place.
Dinh was the low amateur for the second consecutive year, and Ramsey, 18, made $4,500 in her pro debut.
They had started the day tied with Huffer for the lead and battled through the first 16 holes and the rain delay only to find it was a three-way tie again.
“I played pretty steady, but Becca played very steady and made the birdies when they really counted,” Dinh said. “I would have liked to win, but I take a lot of positives away from this. It motivates me to get better and better.”
Ramsey said she was pleased to have a chance to win with two holes to go in her first professional event, and feels the experience will help her as she moves on in her career.
“I feel like I could have played a lot better,” she said. “There were a lot of things I could have done better, but that is how golf is and obviously two birdies is hard to beat. Becca made the birdies at the right time. I take the good from this and work on my ball-striking.”
For Huffer it was her second win of the year to go with a Cactus Tour event, but she said the biggest since she won the Colorado Open last year. Her current status on the Symetra Tour, aided by a third-place finish earlier this season in Arizona, puts her full-time the rest of the schedule.
“It feels awesome to win,” she said. “I got it done today, and that feels so great. The money helps because every little bit helps, and I knew I was playing well the last few weeks and this just proves I’m doing the right things.”
Former Michigan State standout and Edgerton native Allyssa Ferrell shot a final-round 70 and finished alone in fourth place at 211. Ashley Tail, another Colorado pro from Littleton, shot 71 for 212 and fifth place.
McNett-Emmerich falls to Konop
Former Madison West golfer Brittany McNett-Emmerich took recent Indianapolis University grad Jennifer Konop to the 17th hole of their championship match Wednesday at the Wisconsin Women's State Golf Association match-play championship at Janesville Country Club.
But that's where the tournament ended for the UW-Stout senior. Konop won the hole to close out a 3-and-1 victory over McNett-Emmerich, whom she had defeated in the 2013 quarterfinals at Wisconsin Rapids.
Konop (76) and McNett-Emmerich (79) had finished 1-2 in the medal-play qualifying portion of the three-day event on Monday.