Stephenville High School junior golfer Allee Mainord was plenty smart enough to figure out how important the mental game is in her sport.
She calculated that she had to shoot in the 70s in order to qualify for the Class 4A girls state golf tournament, and did that with a 75 on the opening day of the Region I-4A tournament in Lubbock.
Mainord said she could see the level she needed to reach when the SHS golfers went to Lubbock for a regional preview tournament.
“I knew what I needed to have a chance,” said Mainord, already a three-year varsity letterman. “I shot 75 in the first round, and the second day was a rough round (80).”
Mainord’s group at regional was the first to finish, so she was in agony for a couple of hours before she knew she qualified for the state meet with her overall score of 155.
“I don’t think it hit me that I was going to state until about 9 o’clock that night,” she said. “My first reaction was tears, then I was excited. It’s crazy to see all the hard work has paid off.”
She gained the state berth by being the second-highest finisher among those not on a state-qualifying team. Teammate Kylie Roberts also qualified for the girls regional event, shooting a two-day total of 187. SHS also competed in the boys regional tournament, as team (Hunder Rudloff, Grayson Traweek, Denton Heller, Hudson Haile and Cole Stanley), and placed 12th.
The girls state tournament will be May 13-14 at Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle.
‘IMPROVED SO MUCH’
SHS girls golf coach Patti Williams said that Mainord reaching the state tournament always seemed to be a possibility.
“We thought the whole year she had a chance because she had improved so much,” Williams said.
Consistency has been a trademark of Mainord’s game. That comes from having good technique.
“She just has a natural technique,” Williams said, adding that Mainord plays junior PGA tournament events in the summer to keep her game sharp.
When Mainord was still straining to get her scores down into the 70s, Williams reassured her that it was better to peak later in the season.
“The first day (at regional) she broke 80 and that’s what set her up,” Williams said. “That’s been the goal all year, to shoot in the 70s. It’s stiff competition. You just have to put two good days together.”
Now that she has achieved that goal, qualifying as an individual medalist, she can put those thoughts behind her and let her physical talent take over.
“This year I focused more on the mental game,” said Mainord, who currently ranks No. 2 academically in her class at SHS. “I always had a knack for the physical aspect. To finish my round stronger than I started has been my goal.”
In junior high, Mainord ran cross country and played volleyball and basketball. For her freshman year she left cross country behind but added volleyball and golf.
Starting with her sophomore year, she was a basketball manager for the Honeybees and focused all of her attention on golf — and, of course, her academic studies.
“I realized I liked golf more,” said Mainord, noting that she will have 18 college credit hours stuffed into her golf bag as she looks toward possibly playing for an NCAA Division III school and jumping into pre-med studies after graduation from SHS next year.