Playing Above Par
At first sight, you may be asking yourself, “They’re not that big, how can they hit the ball that far?” Well, that would be a good question. However, you can’t argue with the results of Edmond Memorial High School (EMHS) seniors, Kiley Bollenbach and Aubree Vaughn.
“Our best scores? Four under par—68—and we each shot that,” said Vaughn.
The two have grown up together in Edmond and have spent their lives playing sports together. “We have played either soccer, basketball or golf together since we were four,” Bollenbach said. “We have always been on the same team. It has worked out well for us.”
They are co-captains of the Edmond Memorial golf team, and together they have participated in Oklahoma Junior Golf (OJG) and American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournaments. EMHS golf coach, Mel Mallett, has nothing but high praise for the two and the time spent coaching them.
“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s going to be a sad year next year, after having to say goodbye to such great girls,” Mallett said.
“I have been able to coach these two since they were freshman, and I’m going to miss them.”
Keeping in the original rules of the game of golf, Mallett is well aware of the natural talents and abilities of Vaughn and Bollenbach. “Golf is also a game of etiquette. I never have to worry about that with these two. They’re always there to help someone if they need it,” she said. “They don’t take advantage of someone who doesn’t understand the game as well as they do; they’re helping them and to me that shows their character.”
However, before the end of the season, there is some unfinished business at the Oklahoma State Golf Tournament, which is being hosted by the River Oaks Golf Course, April 30 and May 1. “Over the last few years, Jenks has won the state tournament and we don’t like that. This year, I feel that we have a great shot at winning the championship,” Mallett said.
EMHS and Jenks have already faced each other twice this season with Edmond having come out on top both times. Each victory came by only one stroke.
“We are going to work really hard to win the state tournament this year,” Bollenbach said.
Each of the girls has been recognized for awards in previous tournaments. Recently, they each won a medalist honor by shooting the lowest total score of any of the participants in a particular tournament.
Regardless of how the two athletes finish out the season, the future is promising for both. Vaughn has received a scholarship to play golf at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. Bollenbach received a scholarship from Oral Roberts University. “The thing that is good is that we won’t be that far apart,” Vaughn said.
Perhaps coach Mallett puts it best. “They are respected by coaches and players all across the state. I wouldn’t be surprised if they finished this season ranked first and second. That wouldn’t be a mistake; they have sort of planned it that way for some time.
One bit of advice they share with those who may not be shooting in the 60s and 70s. “Learn to play in the Oklahoma wind. I don’t like it necessarily,” Vaughn said. “But once you figure out how to use it to your advantage, you will be a better golfer.”