Rising Star Road Trip: Back fully healthy, Colby golfer looks to climb back to the top of 3-2-1A

The Rising Star Road Trip ventures into the northern half of Kansas, with the first stop at Colby High School.
Colby High School's Anna Starbuck, junior, was forced to miss a handful of tournaments and practice last season due to injury. Now she is back to 100% and ready
Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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COLBY, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - From a state title in just her first year of high school golf, to a top ten score of all classifications at the state tournament, there is no question about Anna Starbuck’s talent on the golf course.

“She’s just been a good player and we knew when she got here we’d be good,” said Colby Head Golf Coach Rick Williams.

But last season, not only was Starbuck’s talent put to the test, so was her patience. After winning an individual state championship as a freshman, she had all the momentum on her side heading into her sophomore year. That was up until a wrist injury while playing summer basketball put her on the sidelines right before the golf season began.

“I was really nervous when I first found out. I really thought I would be out for longer,” Starbuck said.

“I thought we weren’t going to have her the whole year,” said Williams. “That’s where my mind went right away.”

Starbuck was forced to miss the first few tournaments of her sophomore year, but after going through physical therapy and working with doctors, she was able to come back quicker than expected. She was able to play through the injury, but still wasn’t able to do quite as much as she had the season before.

“I don’t know at what point she got to 100%,” Williams said. “It certainly wasn’t during our season. She didn’t have full flexibility and she was still in pain and I had to try to control how much she did in practice for a while.”

Although battling through injury and limited on reps, Starbuck still powered her way to a second place finish at the state tournament. Now, almost a year after the injury, she is back to fully healthy as well as two years older than when she won her last title.

Starbuck said she feels better on the course than she ever has and is hopeful to lead the Colby Eagles to a season ending with some hardware.

“Just my game in general [has improved,] but my mental game has really improved,” she said. “Coach can attest. My freshman year I was pretty nervous, a little bit sensitive and a little bit scared.”

The Eagles open their season on Sept. 1 at Hugoton