Carthage’s Bryant set to make fourth state tournament appearance

Hailey Bryant returns to the state golf tournament for the fourth time in her career

CARTHAGE, Mo. – The Missouri high school girls state golf tournament starts on Monday. A familiar face from Carthage will be competing. Senior Hailey Bryant is back for her fourth time.

Bryant is a four-time state qualifier. She’s not new to big stage, but a lot has changed since her first experience as a freshman.

“I’ve definitely grown a lot since then,” Bryant says. “My freshman year I was extremely nervous and put a lot of pressure on myself because it’s the highest place you can go. Now I’m know that is what I’m here to do. I’ve been working towards this goal and I’m just ready to finally achieve it.”

“She knows who she is as a ball striker. She knows who she is around the green. She has more trust in herself then she may have had as sophomore,” says Carthage head coach, James Newman. “She’s comfortable in her own skin and who she is as a golfer.”

Bryant placed eighth at state last year. This year, she’s aiming even higher.

“As a senior this year I’m looking to go out there and prove to people how I can play,” Bryant says. “I want to go have fun and see the improvement from my freshman year to now.”

“I think if she leverages her ball striking and puts herself in those positions where she can really attack, she could have some of her best rounds coming up,” Newman says.

She has momentum. Bryant is coming off a Central Ozark Conference title earlier this month.

“At conference I still didn’t even feel like I played my best which pushes me even more,” Bryant says. “I feel like now I’m ready to actually play my best.”

“She has a quiet intensity about her and she’s competitive,” Newman says. “She wants it really bad and she’s very driven.”

Bryant has already accomplished a lot in her career. She’s a four-time all-district performer, a four-time all-conference performer and is the first Carthage girls golfer to get all-state recognition, which she earned last year.

“After accomplishing some smaller things, I’ve now set these bigger goals for myself and I’m finally reaching them and I’m really glad my last year I could do such a thing,” Bryant says.

As her high school career nears its end, Bryant is undecided on what her competitive golf future will look like.

“I love golf. The thought of stopping here stings a little bit. I think there’s a lot more I can accomplish,” Bryant says.