As a top-eight finisher, Budd earned a spot in the Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Match, which will be held July 26-27 at Forest Lake Country Club in Columbia, S.C.
Marcus Byrd, of Dunwoody, putted for par on the final hole to win the event with a 1-under 215.
Budd was tied for seventh entering Wednesday’s round, after shooting 71-76 in the first two rounds, but he finished with a 77 in the final round. He struggled on the back nine, shooting par or better on just four holes.
“I was excited that I qualified for the match play, but kind of disappointed that I didn’t play better in the final round,” Budd said. “Overall, I guess you can’t be upset about qualifying for the event that you tried to qualify for.”
Budd said that conditions at The Farm were tough and required patience. Unfortunately, he was trying to catch Byrd and didn’t have a lot of patience.
“I was trying to chase down a leader, and you can’t really be patient and get scoring opportunities,” Budd said. “I tried to get aggressive and got too aggressive, and that’s how you make mistakes.”
Budd said it felt good to be the top finisher from the county, but he had set his sights closer to the top of the leaderboard.
“It’s quite an accomplishment, but I expected to do better than eighth,” he said. “But when you think about it, at the end of the day, it’s not too bad to finish eighth out of 144 kids. It’s exciting. I just have to keep improving.”
The only other Cherokee County resident to make the cut was Canton’s Brady Keran (229), a rising freshman.
At Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Bailey Tardy carded a 1-under 71 during the final round to win the Georgia Girls’ Championship with a three-round total of 6-under 210.
Roswell’s Rinko Mitsunaga, the only other golfer to finish the tournament under par, was two strokes back at 212.
Recent Creekview graduate Whitney Stevenson led local participants at 263. Etowah’s Melanie Talbott (264) and Creekview’s Claire Roop (272) both improved in each round, while Etowah’s Tyler Dawson (272), Woodstock’s Madison Blackburn (274) and Woodstock resident Abigail Bolt (277) also participated.