Local golf standout Kacie Bradfish changed her competitive attitude ahead of her senior year at Cincinnati Country Day, and watched her game evolve at a rapid pace.
The Purdue golf recruit narrowed her focus, drilled down to the basic components of her mechanics, and flourished.
“I changed my mental focus,” Bradfish said. “I take each hole one at a time now so I don’t get too far ahead of myself.”
Staying in the here and now rocket-fueled a senior season that she will never forget, and gave promise to a bright future that could take Bradfish to greater heights. She is embarking on a Big 10 women’s golf career at Purdue, where she expects to major in chemical engineering. She leaves for college Aug. 16. Her first tournament experience could come in September.
“It’s very exciting,” Bradfish said. “I get the best of both worlds. “I get into the field I want, which is engineering, and I get to golf.”
Looks like another smart decision, nothing new for Bradfish. She was a high honor student and member of the ambassador program with a 4.6 grade-point average her senior year at Country Day. She was just as impressive on the golf course where she put away droves of foes with drives and putts.
Bradfish medaled the majority of her matches at Country Day. She was the Division II district individual runner-up, and third at the sectional. She was named second-team all-Ohio following an eighth-place state finish.
“I was very pleased,” Bradfish said. “This year, I have noticed that my game has improved a lot. I’ve definitely been hitting more greens and making fewer putts.”
Bradfish is a veteran of a handful of Greater Cincinnati Golf Association junior tour wins. She has won on the Plantation Junior Tour. In June at Hueston Woods during a Hurricane Junior Tour stop, Bradfish fired a career-low 1-under-par 71 while winning the tournament.
She’s entering more and varied tournaments, which puts her up against better competition, in different formats. The results have broadened her palette and rounded her game into unprecedented shape.
The three-time high school state qualifier got a taste of match-play at last week’s 100th Women’s Metropolitan Amateur Championship golf tournament at Cincinnati Country Club. She qualified third for the championship flight of 16 with a score of 3-over-par 73, and eliminated Milford’s Megan Creager, 5 and 4 in the first round of match play.
Representing Wetherington Golf and Country Club in her second Women’s Met, Bradfish defeated former Met champion Allison Schultz, an ex-University of Toledo golfer, 5 and 3 in the quarterfinals. Bradfish lost 5 and 4 in the semifinals to eventual champion Hanna Lee of the University of Xavier.
“I was happy with how I played,” said Bradfish, a former Metropolitan girls’ junior tournament runner-up. “My ball-striking was really good.”
At last year’s Women’s Met, she missed the championship flight by one stroke, and lost in the first round of match play.
“This year, I was determined to do much better, and I did. That was one of my goals,” said Bradfish.
She’s come a long way since starting as a grade-schooler. Back then, her father wanted a golf partner. Bradfish was 6, and thought she was up for the task.
“So, I took my three newbie clubs for little kids, and golfed with my dad,” she said. “And I just kept playing.”
Golf remains solidly in her future. She’s expecting to compete in this week’s Ohio Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship in Marion. She had a top-10 finish last year.
“My ultimate goal is to win,” Bradfish said. “But I would be happy with a top-5 finish because there are so many good golfers in Ohio.”