Josie Hayward

INDEPENDENCE — Labette County’s Josie Hayward was among the six individual qualifiers for the KSHSAA 4A Girls Golf State Tournament after placing 17th at the 4A Regional Tournament in Independence on Monday.

Chanute won the team title at the regional with a score of 409. Anderson County and Circle took second and third to qualify their whole teams with scores of 435 and 446 respectively.

Labette County sent only two golfers to regionals — Hayward and Mia Howard.

Hayward scored a 117 on the day, placing her three strokes ahead of 18th place finishers Adelyn White of Circle and Kamron Blair of Parsons to secure her the final spot at state.

Hayward shot a 54 on the back nine to overcome a 63-stroke front nine.

“The last time we played at Indy, Josie shot really well and had one of her best scores of the year,” Labette County head coach Tammy Hayward said. “At regionals on the same course, she was struggling with the front nine but ended up scoring well enough on the back nine to qualify for state. I am really proud of her attitude because golf can be a very frustrating sport, but she always keeps her head up and continues to improve.” 

Howard finished 26th with a score of 130.

Fort Scott’s Karlie Chipman won the regional title individually, shooting an 85 on the day. Chipman nearly edged out Chanute’s Jerlyn Kustanborter, who took second with a score of 86.

Those two golfer were the only two to break 100 on the day.

Hayward is anxious for the opportunity to go to state after a year filled with uncertainty through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After all the things that happened last spring and this summer with sports, I am just very thankful that I have the opportunity to go to state again,” Hayward said. “I enjoy playing with my teammates and meeting the other players from all around.”

The KSHSAA 4A Girls Golf State Tournament tees off on Oct. 19 at the Emporia Municipal Golf Course in Emporia.

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