Morgan golf team finishes second at home tournament

Published 9:08 pm Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Morgan Academy golf team showed improvement Thursday, even on a day where the team thought it didn’t play well overall.

The Senators finished second at their own golf tournament at the Selma Country Club, finishing with a total score of 343, 12 shots ahead of third place Pickens Academy. Tournament favorite Lee-Scott didn’t play its best either, but still easily won with a score of 305.

“We did win second place, but it’s not going to be a good second place. We can do way, way better than that. 343 is awful,” said Morgan ninth grader Thomas Morris. “We shot 274 in Montgomery two times ago. We are so much better than that as a team.”

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The Senators admittedly put a lot of pressure on themselves Thursday.

Not only did they want to win at home, but the annual tournament at the Selma Country Club is a chance for every player’s parents to see them play. Since all the school tournaments are during the workweek, it can be hard for parents to take off for a golf event that starts at noon. It’s not like Morgan didn’t play well. The Senators finished two spots higher than last year, when they came home fourth in the same tournament. Plus, there were 12 teams in the field and 10 of them would’ve loved to come in second place. However, it was clear the Senators were less than satisfied with how they played, especially coming in with a three-tournament win streak.

“You think you know everything about [the course], then you have people around you playing the game a lot smarter than we are playing on our own turf,” said Morgan’s David Cothran, who shot an 89.

The Senators were led by eighth grader Jones Free, who shot a 79.  He was one of only four players in the entire field to break 80 on Thursday, in windy conditions. Winds were as high as 20 miles per hour at times Thursday and it showed in the final scores. It was clear the wind even threw a curveball at the home team — one that has played the course countless times and practices there regularly.

“[Playing at home] can either make you look really good or really bad and today it made us look bad because we played bad,” said Allen Todd, a sophomore for Morgan.  “Usually you get an advantage because you are used to it and you know what to do and the good spots and the bad spots.”

In comparison, last year’s winning score was Lee-Scott at 298. Nobody was getting to that kind of score on Thursday.

“It’s hard to play in this kind of wind. Instead of hitting a 9-iron from 140 [yards], you’re hitting a 7-iron,” said Morgan Academy’s Gus Colvin, who shot an 89. “It’s just hard.”

Lee-Scott’s Turk Pettit won the individual portion of the tournament with a 68, beating Bryson O’ Malley by eight shots. Morgan’s four players that contributed to the team score were Free, David Cothran, Gus Colvin and Sam Brackin.

“[The wind] very difficult because I play it a lot higher than most people do,” said Cothran, who shot an 89. “It grabs the ball and takes it in a certain direction, whichever way the wind is blowing.”

If anything, Thursday showed that the Senators aren’t settling for high scores this year, not when they know what they’re capable of. The team will look to regroup and get back on its hot streak before the upcoming Alabama State Independent School Association Championship later this month.

“We’ve got to have a lot of confidence going into it. I’d like to see everyone out here practicing too,” Free said.