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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Lily Allman hits a shot towards the Kansas City skyline during the Missouri Class 2 Girls State Golf Tournament at Swope Memorial Golf Course.

Lily Allman took advantage of McDonald County High School's first year to offer girls' golf.

The sophomore shot her way to the state tournament, finishing in a tie for 40th place out of a field of 90.

Though this was McDonald County's first year to have a girls' team, this wasn't the first year for Allman to play for McDonald County. Last year she was the best player on McDonald County's boys' team.

"I think it was a really good experience to have a girls' team this year," Allman said. "It was really fun because having the opportunity to play from the red tees instead of the white is a lot better. This year my second shots were irons most of the time instead of fairway woods."

What makes Allman's accomplishment that much more incredible is that she has been playing golf for only two years.

It was just one day when she was looking for something to do that she took a couple of her dad's clubs outside and became hooked.

"I really liked it, so my dad (Mark Allman) started taking me to the course and to the driving range," Allman said. "We played a lot after I got started, especially at Noel and at the driving range in Joplin."

In addition to burning up the local courses, Allman has taken trips to South Carolina and Southern California, where she played at the famed Torrey Pines Country Club this past summer.

Mark and Lily were instrumental in getting McDonald County to start a girls' golf program.

"We had talked to Nick (former athletic director Nick Martin) and he was very supportive," Allman said. "Dad and I talked so some of the school board members and they brought it up at meetings."

Lily and her dad were also instrumental in getting other girls interested in playing and in supplying them with equipment.

"Me and Anna (teammate Anna Mead) had played on the boys' team, so we had everything we needed," Allman said. "My dad had some clubs and some sets of clubs and we put those together and had that available to anyone who wanted to play. I put up flyers and talked to girls at the end of school last year to see who wanted to play. It was a struggle at first but, once we got started, there was more interest and I think next year there will be more girls wanting to try out."

Allman said she hit her goal of being in the top 40 at state right on the number, though tough conditions made scoring very hard.

"The first day I probably played the best I could," Allman said. "It was pretty cold to start off with, but it warmed up a little. It never rained, but the course held a lot of water from all the rain from the week before the tournament. It was very, very wet and muddy. The second day it was cold all day."

Allman plans to continue her busy summer schedule this year, looking at possibly playing in some USGA events in the Midwest.

"My goal next year is to be at least top 20 or top 25 at state," Allman said. "Eventually I would like to make all-state in high school and play golf in college."

Kyle Fields was the coach for McDonald County's first girls' team. He said having Allman on the team had a big impact on getting other girls to play and set a good example on how to play the game."

"Lily has a very good work ethic and is a very mature and competitive person," Fields said. "She is a model student and a leader in the classroom and on the team. She is very caring and is always willing to help others. She is a great example for every other student-athlete at our school. I look forward to coaching her the next two years."

Sports on 11/08/2018

Print Headline: MCHS Golfer Lilly Allman Sets High Goals

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