Bishop didn't stop with big shot

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By Stefan Cooper
Sports Editor
Blount Today

It’s half the distance of a high school basketball court.

It’s how far Mallory Bishop’s finishing putt rolled when the Middle Tennessee State University sophomore won the Class AAA state golf championship two years ago.

I didn’t know Bishop then. She played for a rival high school. When I learned her dad, Richard, had an office in the same office complex as Blount Today, I mentioned to him if she ever stopped by, I’d like to meet her.

The 50-foot putt to win by two strokes two years ago at Pickwick Landing State Park was a mammoth golf shot. It takes a
few seconds to walk that distance, let alone sink the last putt on the last hole of your high school career to win a state championship with such a bomb.

The shot was great. The person who hit it, I learned recently, is a better story.

Bishop won her first golf tournament at age 6. By her freshman season at Bearden High School, she’d been named all-state, a feat she would repeat each of the next three seasons. As a sophomore, she finished in a tie for the state crown, the same year she would win the Green Meadow Country Club ladies championship.

You have to be pretty tough to win like that. You also have to be careful.

"There’s such a fine line between confidence and arrogance," Bishop said.

It wasn’t long before the future state champion was either one of three places on a given day - school, home or the golf course. Winning would ask a price, and she was willing to pay it.

"I think it’s how bad you want to succeed," she said.

Now, many of us, yours truly included, would retire from golf for life after our last high school putt won a state championship. And you drained it from 50 feet!

"It was a relief," Bishop said. "It was a lot of weight off your shoulders because you’d spent so much time and effort."

It’s what Bishop did next that makes her story notable. She accepted a golf scholarship to Middle Tennessee State. She left her trophies home with her parents. She set new goals.

Success in athletics, in anything, really, has a lot to do with how quickly you can put yesterday - even the really good yesterdays - behind you, Bishop will tell you. At Middle Tennessee, she’s no longer the high school kid who sank the 50-footer to win state. She’s a sophomore whose aim it is to make each of her tournaments this season. She’s a business major with a full class load.

Most importantly, Mallory Bishop is a big sister.

"She takes me shopping sometimes," Madi Bishop, 11, said. "I don’t always get what I want."

Keep swingin,’ kid. It worked for Mallory.

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