One of the smallest players in the field had the biggest game at the girls’ 4-A state high school golf championship in Pinehurst.
Victoria Allred, who stands five feet tall, shot 75 and 74 at Pinehurst No. 6 to win the individual title. She is only a sophomore and helped Reagan High School to a second-place finish in the team competition.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said after closing out the 74 on Nov. 1. “Last year, I kind of screwed up the second round. I put too much pressure on myself. I lost my grandfather the month before and I really wanted to win it for him. This year, I played more relaxed and focused. I had confidence on every shot I hit.”
Allred had to beat a tough field. Allyson Markiewicz of Ardrey Kell shot 152 to finish second and Sarah Bae of team champion Athens Drive was third at 153. Bae is currently the Carolinas Golf Association’s top-ranked junior girl player in the state and Markiewicz is fourth. Allred is ranked third. In the West Regional, Markiewicz nipped Allred for medalist honors in a sudden-death playoff.
Allred won by three shots despite making a double bogey on the last hole. She had a buried lie in a greenside bunker and blasted it over the green. But she had built her lead with steady play, highlighted by three birdies. She holed a 15-foot putt at the par-4 fourth then hit great approach shots to about three feet on the 10th and 16th holes.
Allred won her first CGA title in July – the Twin States Junior and headed back to high school on a roll. But her prep schedule was plagued by an injury that caused her to miss all but one regular season high school match this fall.
“She couldn’t even hold onto the club,” said her father Jay Allred, who is also the team’s coach. “It was a pinched nerve in her neck that was causing all the pain. She went to physical therapy and did a lot of exercises. We have a great chiropractor in Scott Foster who fixed her up and got her out here.”
Jay Allred said people often underestimate his daughter because of her small stature.
“She’s five-foot nothing but she’s as tough as any football player,” he said. “She can nail the ball. She generates a lot of clubhead speed.”
Victoria has been around golf since she was an infant.
“My parents have a videotape of me teething on my dad’s sand wedge at six months,” she said. “He started having me hit balls when I was two and I’ve been playing tournament golf since I was six.”
Victoria tied for 11th place in the state tournament last year as a freshman and she believes the experience helped her.
“Last year, I was extremely nervous and I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “This year, I just felt relaxed and let it flow.”
Jay does a balancing act between being a father and being a coach for the team.
“It was special to see Victoria win but we really try to focus on the team aspect,” he said. “She takes care of herself. I didn’t see that much of her or watch that much of her because I’m trying to make sure the other players are getting around the course OK. It’s great to see her do well, it’s great to see the team do well and it represents our school well.”
The Reagan team finished 10 shots behind winner Athens Drive of Raleigh, which broke away from the pack with a second-day 240. Reagan moved up from third place after the first round with a 246-245 score.
“Our kids have worked really hard but they were a little down on themselves after the first round,” Jay Allred said. “I had a bunch of our old players call them and talk to them about what it means to be here.”
Hannah Craver shot 80-78 and Chloe Sizemore had 90-94 to round out the Reagan scoring. Both are juniors.
“All our players return next year,” Jay Allred said. “We’re going to be back here again.”