TIFTON, Ga. — As far as Newton golf coach Rick Rasmussen is concerned, freshman girls golfer Ally Black could be on a trajectory to do something that perhaps no other Rams golfer has done since 2001.
Black finished her time at the Class AAAAAAA state golf tournament playing some of her best golf of the season, shooting a 39 on her second back nine, carding an 87 for the day which was good enough to place her in a tie for 25th place out of 54 golfers and at a tie for third place out of the eight who played the state tournament as individuals.
“She’s on track to be a college golfer, no doubt about it,” Rasmussen said, “and that’s something that I don’t think has happened here since around 2001 when we had Danyel McKibben.
"She’s going to work on her game all year round. There’s no offseason, just like my guys in the basketball gym. When her short game gets even more solid, she’s going to shoot like an 80 or less every time. Another year to improve on her short game will just make her better and better.”
Black’s day two success came after shooting a combined 90 — a 47 on the front nine and 43 on the back nine after teeing off Monday morning at the Spring Hill Country Club in Tifton. The freshman was the only Newton player from either the girls or boys team to qualify for the tournament, and Rasmussen came away feeling encouraged by her performance.
“I’m really proud of her,” he said. “She wanted to crack 90, and we knew she could do it. Now we’ve got that to build off, and she’s gonna want to be around 80 both days next year. I was right there with her, kind of like her caddy. I was allowed to give her yardage and all. We couldn’t go on the greens with her, but it was really fun to see her up close and see her through it.”
Black will have three more years to shape her game for the collegiate level, and if she does it she could, indeed, become the school’s first collegiate golf prospect since McKibben played two years at Darton College following 2001 graduation.
“We haven’t had a lot of golf college prospects at Newton High, but we think we’ve got a diamond in the rough here with Ally,” Rasmussen said.