The rising Etowah junior looked at the positives. As one of the top eight finishers in the event, he was invited to represent the state in the Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Match, which will be held today and Saturday at Forest Lake Club in Columbia, S.C.
Budd, who was preparing for his practice round Thursday afternoon, said he’s excited about playing.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’ve never done something like it, so I think it will be cool.”
Budd feels the mental part of his game has improved since he played in the Georgia Junior Championship just a month ago.
“I had a chance to contend and almost win,” he said. “I didn’t do what I wanted to on the weekend, but I put myself in the position to get here.”
The two-day challenge event, which consists of eight singles matches each day, features the top players from the two states between the ages of 14 and 17. Players earn one point for winning a hole and a half-point for a tie.
The interstate competition alternates between Georgia and South Carolina each year. Georgia owns a 22-13-2 advantage in the all-time series.
Budd will be paired today with R.J. Keur of North Charleston, S.C. He will face Michael McKee of Ware Shoals, S.C., on Saturday.
Budd feels confident entering the competition because he has a solid record in match-play events. Not only that, but he has been spending more time on the course this summer than in years past.
“I play pretty well in match play,” he said. “I have a really good record, but I have never done this tournament. You just put the past behind you. It doesn’t matter what you get on the hole, you are just playing your opponent. One hole doesn’t carry over.”
Budd’s teammates include the Georgia Junior Championship winner Marcus Byrd, Tye Waller, Tyler Hanson, Will Duma, Carter Mobley, Tyler Joiner and Jake Fendt.
Budd said he’s friends with some of his teammates, and he thinks they have a good shot at winning another title for Georgia.
“I think that we have a really good chance to win it,” he said. “We have some good players.”