Free State golfer Madison Brumley was having a tough time on the front nine.
After a slow start to Monday’s Free State Invitational at Lawrence Country Club, she was able to gather herself in the final nine holes and lead her team with a 105. Nicole Humphrey was the second-leading scorer with a 112.
“Starting off, I was really shaky and really scared about how the rest of the day was going to go,” Brumley said.
Her score was three off the season-best she set two weeks ago when she shot a 102 at the Lawrence Invitational at Alvamar. That was the closest she got to her goal, which is to break 100.
Free State coach Craig Hershiser saw the nervousness in all of his golfers, and he said they handled it well. Brumley let him know early on.
“I think that it was really a matter of the expectations and the circumstances,” he said about it being the Firebirds’ home meet. “Hopefully with today’s experience and the second nine, (Madison) showed herself what she could do.”
With regionals looming a week from today, Hershiser wants his players to learn from Brumley’s battle.
“Confidence is a fluid thing,” he said. “It comes and goes. I’m hoping Wednesday she’ll feel more confident from the beginning and not have to play her way into it.”
Lawrence High golfer Abigail Schmidtberger backed up the confidence she felt going into the tournament and finished with her best score of the season by a long shot.
She led her team with a 93, a five-stroke improvement from her previous best, set two weeks ago at Alvamar.
Schmidtberger said she knew today was going to be good.
“I came having a positive attitude,” she said. “I guess it turned out pretty well.”
Schmidtberger was consistent, shooting a 46 on the front nine and a 47 on the back. It was the best performance by a Lion this season. Quillen Eichhorn also broke 100 with a score of 99. Others were close: Payton Covert and Attie Pennybaker shot 101, and Anna Wright shot a 102.
Schmidtberger said Monday was a good gauge to see how well the Lions could do compared to the other Sunflower League teams.
“I think we have a chance of getting in third in the Sunflower League,” Schmidtberger said.