By BRETT MARSHALL
When she was playing multiple sports in middle school, Abbi Shaddix had not seen a singular sport to focus on.
But having played some summer golf in 2010 before her freshman season at Garden City High School, there was a time when some decisions were made that altered her four-year golf career with the Lady Buffs.
"I remember getting a call from Cole (Wasinger, Buffalo Dunes golf professional) to have breakfast with him," Shaddix said on Tuesday as she was preparing to sign an NCAA Division I letter-of-intent with the University of North Texas in Denton. "He told me that if I wanted to work toward a D-I scholarship, that I'd be better off sacrificing the other sports and commit fully to golf."
So that's what she did.
And with her four-year Lady Buff career now at an end, Shaddix can look forward to pursuing that dream of playing collegiate golf at the highest level.
She will graduate early from GCHS in December and plans to enroll at North Texas for the spring semester. While she would have been eligible to compete in the spring season for the school, she decided she didn't want to expend one year of eligibility on just one semester. So, instead she will practice with the team and do everything else associated with the program.
"Their coach (Jeff Mitchell) can work with me, so I'm excited about what's ahead," Shaddix said.
During her GCHS career, Shaddix was a member of teams that placed seventh, second, fifth and third in the Class 6A state tournament. Individually, she was the 6A runner-up in mid-October at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course while also earning Player of the Year honors in the Western Athletic Conference in 2012 and 2013.
But her biggest accomplishment as far as individual performance goes will likely be back-to-back days in September 2012 when she had consecutive rounds of 66 and 69 at Sim Park Golf Course in Wichita and Carey Park Golf Course in Hutchinson.
"That's the day (Sim Park) that my game all came together," Shaddix said when asked about highlights of her career. "To have the feel of play that good, and to know what you're capable of, that's probably the best. And then to come back the next day at Hutch and shoot the 69, that meant a lot, too."
"It's a great area, the weather's nice, and they have amazing facilities," Shaddix said. "They play a great schedule, so there's a lot of positives about the school."
"It definitely means a lot," Shaddix said of signing the letterof-intent. "I sacrificed a lot of time with family, friends and school to reach my goal."
It gives me an opportunity to represent the town, my family, and my school."
While her field of study is undecided, Shaddix said she was leaning toward something in the health sciences field.