Sarah Busey treats fist pumps like many of us treat formal attire. She only breaks them out for special occasions.
The Santa Clara sophomore unleashed a pair of them Tuesday during the final round of the Fresno State Classic, the last coming when she birdied the par-5 fifth hole for her seventh birdie of the day to close out a 5-under-par 67. The remarkable round bettered by two strokes her collegiate career low — a 69 set last fall at the Cal-Irvine Invitational and matched twice since then, most recently in the afternoon session of Monday's 36-hole opening round — and matched the Broncos' 18-hole school record set by 2017 grad Annie Freman and equalled by teammate Marni Murez, also at the Cal-Irvine Invitational.
Meanwhile, Busey — the 2016 WIAA Division 2 state champion as a senior at Racine St. Catherine's — established her own 54-hole record at 4-under 212. She moved up seven spots on the individual leaderboard to place solo third, three strokes behind medalist Christine Danielsson of UC Davis (69-71-69), helping Santa Clara fire a closing 284 and finish third in the 14-team field with a 54-hole total of 6-over 870, which was 14 shots behind winner UC-Davis.
"Honestly, I had a pretty good idea of where I was at the time, but I wasn’t even thinking about the record books," Busey said of her 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole. "I was more focused on putting a good end on a great round to help my team as much as I could and I’m happy I was able to do that."
It was a day to remember from start-to-finish for Busey.
She began on the par-3 fifth hole in the shotgun start and opened birdie-birdie. After a bogey at the par-3 eighth hole, Busey made back-to-back birdies at Nos. 11 and 12 and Nos. 18 and 1 around a bogey at the par-4 14th hole before her record-tying putt on No. 4 fell for her 14th birdie of the week.
Folks, this is the last of SEVEN birdies in @santaclarawgolf record-tying 5-under-par 67 for Racine native @sarahbusey7 in the final round of the Fresno State Classic at Copper River CC this afternoon! A 76-69-67 week leaves her alone in third! https://t.co/ni6ZYv8qrQ pic.twitter.com/v5cvJ96FdG— Rob Hernandez (@RobHernandezGLF) April 2, 2019
"I think what clicked was the fact that I was focusing on first hitting fairways, then hitting greens and keeping it around the hole with my putting," Busey said. "My putting was pretty solid the last 2 rounds and that helped me cash in a lot of good birdie opportunities. But Monday, I knew I still did leave a lot of shots out there so I was pumped to get back on the course and execute."
And this was one of those special occasions in which she wasn't afraid to show it.