After missing the Cardinals' first competition of the season (Boilermaker Classic), which saw Ball State finish in fourteenth place, senior Kiah Parrott returned to lead the Cardinals to a first-place finish at the second annual Brittany Kelly Classic.
The Ball State hosted event gets its name from the former Ball State alum Brittany Kelly who was a standout golfer for the Cardinals, a PGA professional, and a member of the U.S. Women’s PGA Cup Team in 2019. Brittany passed away in 2021 from ovarian cancer, but her memory still lives on in the hearts of the competitors who won the competition in her honor two years later.
“It is an honor to play a tournament in her name, especially at home,” Parrott said. “I think that makes it all the more bittersweet to represent her and play for her, so it's really pretty bittersweet that we got the win.”
Parrott, who finished first individually in the competition’s inaugural match last season, once again finished near the top of the clubhouse to help Ball State secure the win. The senior finished with a combined score of 215 at 1-under-par.
“We are certainly better when she is in the lineup,” head coach Cameron Andry said. “I know she was excited to defend her title and I know she came up just a couple shots short but she really led our team.”
Monday, Sept. 18 - Round 1 & 2
The opening round saw freshman JJ Gregston get off to a hot start, leading the Cardinals with a team-best score of 70, finishing at 2-under-par.
Gregston, who led the clubhouse after the first round, was followed by Parrott at 2-over-par and sophomore Jasmine Driscoll at 3-over-par.
Ball State ended the first round in first place, five strokes ahead of the competition.
Round two would see the rise of last year’s clubhouse leader, Parrott, scoring 3-under-par with a score of 69 to help the Cardinals extend their first-place lead by 10 strokes.
Tuesday, Sept. 19 - Round 3
In the final round of the competition, Driscoll was the headliner with a score of 3-under-par to lead Ball State to its eventual first-place finish at the event.
“This win has been a year in the making,” Andry said. “This tournament was us being able to see the dividends from the experience we gained throughout the year last year and I was really proud of the way that everybody competed.”
The Cardinals would end the competition with Parrott, Driscoll, and junior Sabrina Langerak all finishing inside the top ten.
There's a lot of new faces on the team and I think our personalities are all starting to come together,” Parrott said. “I think that is what is really pushing our team to the next level and to get the win this week.”
The Cardinals will look to back up their strong performance at the Brittany Kelly Classic as they head to Vail, Colorado for the Red Sky Golfweek Challenge on Sept. 1.