The only thing Brooke Hutto was focused on Sunday was beating her own record.
The number was 68, a round Hutto posted the summer after she graduated from South Aiken High School and before she started her recently-completed collegiate golf career at USC Upstate.
That was the score she wanted to beat at the City of Aiken Amateur Championship at The Aiken Golf Club, and an opening-round 69 only intensified her drive to go lower than ever before.
She was admittedly unfamiliar with The Aiken Golf Club's history during her pursuit of a personal best.
Now she's part of it.
Hutto shot a final-round 67 to defend her title in the Ladies division with a 24-shot victory, but more importantly she broke the women's course record of 69 set March 23, 1948 by World Golf Hall of Fame member Patty Berg, who was in town following her fourth victory at the Titleholders Championship at Augusta Country Club, according to a front-page article in the following day's Aiken Standard and Review.
Yes, the same Patty Berg who was a founding member of the LPGA Tour, still holds its all-time record for major championships with 15 and ranks fifth all-time with 60 victories.
Obviously, that's a lot to process.
"I don't think it's really sunk in yet, but I'm sure it will in a few days," Hutto said with a laugh.
Hutto said setting the record was extra special because of The Aiken Golf Club's role in women's golf history. The course is said to be the first in the country to have special tees for women – a recommendation from May "Queenie" Dunn, America's first female golf professional – and its Women's Invitational Tournament in the late 1930s attracted golf icons like Berg, Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Helen Detwiler.
Once Hutto wrapped up her final round, in the very first group of the day Sunday morning, she was on her way to turn in her scorecard when she overheard chatter about her previous day's score and questions about what she had just shot. Her dad told them it was a 67, and their response was her first indication she may have done something historic.
"They said, 'She shot 67? Well, you're gonna have to rip up that old scorecard, because she just broke the record,'" Hutto recalled.
The course record wasn't on anyone's mind Sunday – they didn't know what it was. But it was clear from the start that Hutto was on her way to something special.
She birdied the first hole and eagled the par-5 second, then told herself she was going to drive the green on the difficult par-4 third. She did, and nearly eagled that one, too. Her birdie there put her at 4 under through only three holes.
She made three more birdies on the front nine, at the par-4 fifth, sixth and eighth holes, and she stood on the ninth tee at 7 under for the day. At that point, she was thinking all she needed to do was hit the green on the par 3 and she'd shoot in the 20s on the front side.
A thinned 6-iron into a bunker led to a double bogey, though, and then three straight bogeys followed on holes 10-12.
Hutto bounced back with an eagle at the par-5 13th to get back to 4 under for her round and with her record still very much in sight. She told herself she had to keep it together down the stretch – maybe even just par her remaining holes – and she'd have a new personal best.
She birdied one and bogeyed three others, and it all came down to the par-3 18th. She hit a hybrid that she thought rolled off the back of the green, only to walk up and find out the ball had settled 7 feet from the flag.
If she made the putt, she'd break her own record. If she missed, she'd have to settle for a tie.
It had to go in and, with playing partners Kadi Meldrum and Terry Schallick rooting her on like they had all day, she rolled it into the jar.
"I did put a lot of pressure on myself, especially after I made that double on 9," she said. "I was, like, 'I can't screw this up. I have to keep it together.' And I did. I guess that's just the mental aspect of golf."
Soon after she finished, she was given the full history lesson from club owner Jim McNair Jr. Quickly, she went from being unaware of the record to having tied it the first day and then beaten it the second. Just as remarkable to her was that it was a course record that had stood for more than 71 years.
"That's pretty wild, because you don't ever hear it being that old of a record being set," she said. "It's, like, a few years and then somebody beats it."
Not bad for someone somewhat unfamiliar with The Aiken Golf Club's tricky layout.
Last year, Hutto had to ask for time off from golf practice at USC Upstate so she could come home and play in the City Am. She said the courses she was used to playing in college events were in the 6,000-yard range, so it was initially a difficult transition to a classic layout measuring right around 4,600 yards.
Still, she posted a total of 153 (77-76) to win by 19 shots.
She had gone back a few times in between, typically playing from the back tees but putting in a few practice rounds from the front tees to get a feel for her distances – especially off the tee. That was a big strength all weekend, as she had plenty of short irons into greens. Or, in the case of No. 3, no irons or wedges were necessary.
In one of those practice rounds, she was making a lot of birdies – a lot more than usual. She could only think of one other round when she put so many circles on her scorecard, and she told her mom she was going to break her own record.
This weekend, she did that.
And so much more.