By Sean Rooney on October 6, 2016.
In many ways it came as no surprise. But Becky Martin knows what she’s accomplished in a few short weeks with the Medicine Hat College Rattlers is no small feat.
The 23-year-old was named Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women’s golf player of the year Wednesday, a given after winning all three provincial tournaments including the conference title this past weekend in Lac La Biche.
“I wasn’t sure of the total significance, but I’m quite happy about it,” said Martin, a rookie only in title after a few years playing at NCAA schools in the U.S. “To be hometown, Medicine Hat and play for the Medicine Hat Rattlers, I think that’s something not all student-athletes get to do.”
Martin won by a stroke over teammate Danielle Blackmer, helping the team including Nicole Schultz win an ACAC title as well as advance to nationals in Prince Edward Island in two weeks.
The team title is a first at the college, while the individual crown is just the second ever by a Rattler, following Darrin Cooke’s men’s title in 1979. Oddly enough, both Martin and Rattlers coach Trevor Moore know Cooke, who’s now the general manager at Canmore Golf and Curling Club.
Martin said her connection was that Cooke is her “mother’s cousin’s childhood best friend,” whereas Moore remembers being taught by Cooke.
Martin certainly didn’t take the usual route in landing on top of the ACAC standings. A standout when she was at Monsignor McCoy in high school, she played for a couple different American schools. But major nerve problems requiring multiple surgeries over the past few years essentially forced her to end her time pursuing NCAA golf.
She got to know Blackmer earlier this year, who convinced her to come and play for the Rattlers.
“This is a big thing for the college,” said Moore. “It makes it easier to grow a program when you’ve had players come through who have achived great things. People just want to be part of that success moving forward.
“It’s big for Becky as a comeback as well, to come back to competitive golf.”
Technically in her fourth-year of eligibility, Martin admitted the cold weather in Lac La Biche mader her nerve issues worse. She’s past using it as an excuse, however.
“Once you’re already there, there’s no room for whining, right? You’re there, everyone’s playing the same rules, same tees. I brought what I brought and that’s the only thing I can use,” she said.
Martin was also named ACAC athlete of the week. Nationals begin Oct. 17 at Fox Meadow Golf Club.