Lady Buffs clinch fourth straight WAC golf title; Shaddix POY
By BRETT MARSHALL
Between Abbi Shaddix and Abbey Campbell, the Garden City Lady Buffs' top two golfers, all five Western Athletic Conference tournaments were split between them.
Shaddix won three, Campbell won two, and that small difference allowed the junior Shaddix to claim WAC Player of the Year honors following Tuesday's team victory at Stonebridge Golf Course in Great Bend.
Tuesday though, it was Campbell's turn to take medalist honors, shooting an even-par 37 for the nine-hole event despite starting out with a triple bogey.
"Abbey really fought back after that start and played great," said first-year coach Melinda Base. "Making three birdies and finishing even with all the out-of-bounds that the course has, was just a great way to end the day for her."
In the WAC, team points are assigned on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis for each of the five league tournaments. Individually, first place is assigned 15 points with the points decreasing by one incrementally to the 15th place and one point. Over the five events, the Lady Buffs amassed a perfect 25 points while Hays was second with 20 points. The team title was the fourth straight for the Lady Buffs.
Individually, Shaddix compiled 73 points to Campbell's 71 points. Hays' Courtney Hess was a distant third with 51 points.
Sophomore Lindsay Bradstreet earned all-WAC honors with 48.5 points, which was good enough for a tie for fourth with McKenna Mauler of Great Bend.
"It's really great for Lindsay to make all-league," Base said of Bradstreet, who played junior varsity a year ago. "She, as well as all the other girls, have really worked hard on their games and improved. The more confidence they get, the better they play."
After struggling coming out of the gate at the start of the season, the Lady Buffs have been rolling of late. With Shaddix tying the all-time Kansas low 18-hole round a week ago at Sim Park in Wichita with a 66, the Lady Buffs have won at Wichita North, Hutchinson and now their fourth consecutive WAC championship.
"Abbi is really comfortable with her swing and where her game is right now," Base said of Shaddix. "She's been phenomenal in the way she's played lately."
Shaddix shot a 34 in the nine-hole Liberal tournament two weeks ago and followed that up with the 66 in Wichita and a 69 at the Hutchinson Invitational.
Junior Megan Steward followed the Abbey and Abbi scores with a 47 and was named honorable mention All-WAC, while Bradstreet was next with a 50 and freshman Hannah Leiker completed the team scoring with a 57.
Next up for the Lady Buffs will be the Class 6A regional on Monday at Mariah Hills Golf Course in Dodge City. The tournament begins at 10 a.m. and the top three teams qualify for the state tournament which will be played Oct. 15 at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wichita. A year ago, the Lady Buffs finished second as a team to Blue Valley North, the highest finish in school history, while graduated Mackenzie Thayer claimed the school's first girls individual state title.
"The girls all know Mariah Hills and feel comfortable playing there," Base said. "We're excited to have regionals there. I've got high hopes for the girls next week, and I believe if they keep playing with confidence the way they have lately, they'll do just fine."
The Lady Buffs are expected to battle Maize High for the regional title, having lost twice to the Lady Eagles early but then beating them in the two events last week.
It will be the annual Dig Pink Night on Thursday for the GCHS volleyball quadrangular at the GCHS gymnasium.
Teams competing include Ulysses, Scott City and Western Athletic Conference rival Dodge City.
Opening round matches begin at 4 p.m. with varsity matches scheduled in the competition gym on both the east and west courts.
At 4 p.m., varsity matches will include Garden City vs. Ulysses and Dodge City vs. Scott City. At 5 p.m., Scott City will meet Ulysses in a matchup of Great West Activities Conference teams. In 6 o'clock matches, it will be Garden City vs. Scott City and Ulysses taking on Dodge City. The 7 p.m. finale will pit Garden City against Dodge City.
The Dig Pink festivities, which will honor breast cancer survivors and the memory of those who passed away from the disease.