MAYETTA — Sion Audrain's nine-day quest to win the Class 6A state boys golf title finally ended Tuesday with a dominating four-stroke win at Firekeeper Golf Course.
After surviving multiple postponements and a change in courses, the Garden City senior was crowned state champion for the second time after shooting a sizzling six-under-par 66 despite playing much of the back nine in rain. That led the Buffaloes to a fourth-place team finish at 311.
Audrain, who is headed to the University of Kansas, started state play on Monday, May 20, at Sand Creek Station in Newton, but after building an early lead with a two-under start through eight holes, play was halted because of inclement weather with Audrain on the ninth fairway. The decision was later made that when the tournament resumed none of the previous play would count, wiping out Audrain's hot start.
"I was very (upset),'' Audrain said. "I think it was the right decision, but being the leader I thought maybe we could re-start the hole, but it's whatever.''
A couple of later tries to play at Newton went for naught before the decision was made over the weekend to move things to Firekeeper.
"I heard they were going to move the tournament out to Southwest Kansas, and I thought that was fine, nothing's wet, but then they decided to move it out east where it's sloppy and wet and raining again,'' Audrain said. "I don't think the decision was very good, but it turned out pretty good.''
Even though he might have preferred to play close to home, Audrain added another Firekeeper title to his resume after winning the Kansas Amateur on the same course last summer.
"I like this course because I played the (amateur) here and won it,'' he said. "I felt good. My game feels really good and I hit the ball really well today. I don't think I missed any greens, but the course was really, really wet, like extremely wet.''
Audrain also got his putter going midway through the round and cruised the rest of the way.
"I was kind dry until about hole nine and then I made I think four (birdies) in a row,'' he said. "Then I kind of kick-started it on the back nine and I picked up two more, so it was a good day.''
For the rest of the Buffs, Theo Juhl cracked the top 20 with a 78 to tie with three others for 20th. Cayden Cundiff shot an 81 and tied for 31st and Reid Richmeier posted an 86 and tied for 54th.
Shawnee Mission East won with a 298, the only team to break 300. Blue Valley North (300) was second and Olathe East (305) took third. Mill Valley’s Nicklaus Mason took second on the individual leaderboard at 2-under 70.
For non-counting scores, Mason Shaddix shot an 87 and tied for 59th and Noah Ortiz shot 93 and tied for 74th.
Shaddix may have been the golfer most adversely affected by the re-start of the round, after going 1-under through six holes a week ago, before the re-start.