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BHS’s Bishop No. 1
Bearden senior finally breaks through after close calls, wins state AAA individual title

SAVANNAH — After a few painfully close calls in her career, Bearden High School golfer Mallory Bishop is finally a state champion.

Bishop, a senior, overcame a horrible start on the second day to win the Class AAA state golf tournament individual title with a 36-hole, two-stroke victory (147) against Jillian Jones of Cumberland County (149) Oct. 12-13 at the Pickwick Landing State Park course.

Sinking an off-the-green birdie putt on the 18th hole in the final round that Bishop estimated to be “at least like forty feet” long, the senior said that “when it dropped I was, like, in shock, I couldn’t believe that putt went in.”

Bishop finally broke through after knocking on the door of a state individual crown the past two seasons — finishing second in a playoff as a sophomore in 2002 and finishing third last season.

“I was just extremely excited, especially that I could pull it off, like my senior year, and then end with that long birdie putt,” she said. “It was awesome.”

Bishop, a Middle Tennessee State University committment, overcame a triple-bogey on hole No. 2 earlier during the final round.

“It would have been easy to quit, but she kept plugging,” BHS head coach John Heins said. “The key to her winning was that she never quit. She was determined to win.”

Bishop dealt with the No. 2 hole breakdown strategically. “At least I did it in the beginning, so I’d have enough holes to recover,” she said.

Experience was also a factor.

“I think since I had played in so many competitive tournaments, I knew that there was still time to make up those shots,” Bishop said. “It was just one hole.”

Leading by only one stroke going to the final hole, “she was calm, cool, collected, all week,” Heins said. Though Bishop bogeyed the 16th hole, she followed with a par on No. 17.

“She knew what she was getting into, and I think she knew what she needed to do to win,” Heins said. “She really went about it as a business out there. From day one, the whole year, you never saw much emotion.”

However, “the most emotion I saw from her was on eighteen when she pulled the ball out of the cup, she knew that it was over and she had won,” Heins added. “She kind of stood by herself on the side of the green for a minute and just kind of reflected on what had happened.”

Bishop said that because she’d had so many close calls with being a state champ, “I really wanted it bad this year.”


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