Golf is a game of milestones.
Beginners crave the feeling attained by breaking 100 for the first time. More seasoned players always remember the first time they shot in the 70s.
While there weren’t many surprises in how the girls golf teams finished Wednesday at the Redskin Invitational at Sim Golf Course, there were several individual milestones.
Maize South sophomore Laine Evans, who didn’t break 100 last season, shot a career-low 79 to place sixth.
“It feels so good to know it all paid off,” Evans said of her work during the summer. “I am super excited right now, and I don’t care how I placed or whatever. I’ve improved every single time out, so that’s what I’m happy about.”
No one was beaming as much as Garden City junior Abbi Shaddix, a regular at the top of scoreboards. On Wednesday she put together her best round with a 5-under 66 to set the tournament record.
Shaddix birdied five of the 11 par-4s and finished with seven total, including three of the first four holes and the two hardest holes on the course, the par 5s at No. 7 and No. 18.
“This is the lowest I’ve gone,” said Shaddix, whose previous best was 71. “Today just felt awesome. The weather was perfect. My swing felt great. Putts were falling. Everything was going good for me.”
Garden City, with 325 strokes, won the team title because it had the two best individuals in Shaddix and Abbey Campbell, who shot even-par 71. Only a few strokes separated Kapaun Mount Carmel (333), Maize (336) and Bishop Carroll (337).
Another milestone was reached by East’s Alexis Simmons, who had yet to break 100. She turned in a career-best 91 to collect her first medal in a major tournament with a 20th-place finish.
“Our coach makes us practice putting all the time and it feels so obsessive and unnecessary at times,” Simmons said. “But today it was so nice to have a 10-foot putt and know that I can make it. It feels good. It makes me want to go play another 18.”
Shaddix agreed, her curiosity piqued after the round. She doesn’t believe she has reached her pinnacle.
“That’s the good thing about golf, there’s always something you can improve on,” Shaddix said. “I don’t know if I can play any better, but I want to find out.”