Audrey Judd will be looking for a repeat performance at the Class 6A state tournament Oct. 21 in Garden City.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
Judd, a Olathe Northwest senior, is the defending state individual champion, winning in 2012 with a round of 74 at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wichita.
Judd captured the 6A Olathe East Regional individual title by shooting a 74 Monday at the Overland Park Golf Course.
“I was fighting bad putting all day long,” Judd said. “I know where I need to improve.”
She and Olathe South senior Bailey Gibson had a 39 for the first nine, but Judd came back with a 35 on the back nine, while Gibson had a 38.
The two were the only golfers to shoot in the 70s.
Judd helped her Olathe Northwest team to the team championship with a score of 361, with Olathe South second at 377 and Olathe East third at 381. All three teams qualified for state.
Raven junior Chloe Kraus had a personal best-round of 88, finishing in fifth place. Freshman Halle England placed 10th with a 99.
“Audrey is a key for us,” first-year Olathe Northwest coach Sydney Tucker said. “But we couldn’t have qualified without a great team effort.”
Judd has a good year, winning every tournament except one. She had a high school career-best round of 70 during the Shawnee Mission East Invitational at Meadowbrook Country Club earlier this year.
“I come from a family of golfers,” said Judd, whose father, Chad, played at Kansas State during 1990-1994. “Golf runs in our family. I have been around it all my life.”
The secret of her success is “focusing on one shot at a time, not getting big-headed and being confident,” she said.
Now she will be focusing on the state tournament next week.
“It’s a tough course,” she said. “I have to keep hitting the ball solid, work on my short game and have less putts than today.”
Judd will play golf at Nebraska next year.
Gibson’s round of 77 was her second best round of the year. She had a 76 at the SM East Invitational earlier his season.
“My putting was good today,” Gibson said. “I have to stay focused and not let a bad hole get to me.”
There were only five complete teams in the regional field. Olathe North didn’t send a team, while Gardner Edgerton had only three golfers.
Gardner Edgerton’s Jacque Buckingham was third with an 85.
Tournament director and Olathe East coach Kathy Lilley decided to have the best players start first.
“I did it for pace-of-play reasons,” Lilley said. “They play faster.”
With the weather conditions, it paid off for the better players because they missed the rain that started around 2:30.