Ash Grove’s first girl golfer, freshman Allred wins state title

Rylee Allred wears her first place medal next to her father Jeff on the 18th hole before practice begins. (Photo submitted)

Ash Grove High School freshman Rylee Allred is the state golf champion after tying for first in the Class 1 golf tournament last week. What’s more, she’s the only player on the brand new girls golf team at the district.
Allred has been playing golf at a competitive level for about two years now and plays the sport year-round when weather permits—even going so far as to have an indoor golf simulator in her home to practice when she can’t be out on the green. The new girl’s golf team and its inaugural season have given her a chance to showcase her abilities while also representing her school, which she was unable to do before this year.
On the first day of two in the tournament, Allred was not happy with her performance. By the end of the first round, she was behind by three strokes. According to her father Jeff Allred, this wasn’t a great round of golf for anyone because of the weather.
“No one played good golf that day; it was windy and cold,” he said.
By the second day, Rylee had improved significantly, shooting one under par on the front nine and finishing the same way she did in the district tournament, tied for first. Rylee and her father attribute her success on that second day to more confidence after being nervous the previous day.
“I called [my dad] after the first day; he helped me relax and stuff,” she said.
Rylee was in close competition with Kameryn Wood—an athlete with whom Rylee was familiar from both the district and state tournaments. Rylee sees a lot of her in off-season tournaments, which makes for an interesting coincidence when they ended both the district and state tournaments tied for first place.
Jeff wasn’t able to make it to the tournament due to work matters, but he gave Rylee a call after her less-than-desirable performance on the first day. During the call, he offered words of encouragement and tried to help with her nerves.
“She tends to speed up her swing when she gets nervous,” he said. “I told her, ‘You’re only three strokes back; you’re very much still in this.’”
Rylee prepared well for this tournament, even though she’s the lone team member. In addition to being coached by Ash Grove’s Grant Williamson, she has a coach for her swing in Bolivar and plays in tournaments throughout the year. When she can’t do that, she is inside practicing on her indoor golf simulator, which her dad says is an investment for the future.
“I thought I would go ahead and pay for her college now,” he joked.
Rylee and her father are connected through golf, but according to Rylee, she can’t play alongside him.
“We can’t play golf together because he makes me mad,” she said.
“That’s the truth,” said Jeff.
Rylee contributes much of her success during the season to the amount of golf she plays, in-season and out. During the summer, she competes in tournaments hosted by the Southwest Missouri Junior Golf Association (SMJGA), which, in turn, made her more ready to face the competition this season, which included players almost four years older than she in some cases.
Rylee’s win makes her one of the few state champions to compete for Ash Grove, regardless of sport. She also joins Ash Grove’s Asher Rust who won state golf last spring on the boys side.
With her win, she hopes to encourage more girls to join the team. Rylee was happy to win the state championship, but she seemed more excited about the prospect of being able to play and practice with a team next season, as she has had to compete alone to this point. She said that she has high hopes for the tournament next year, stating that she believes it would be possible for her to repeat as champion on the next go-around.



Lawrence County Record

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