During a week when Anna Morgan hit more than a handful of amazing shots the Furman golfer saved one last great shot for the crowd watching on the final hole.
The Lady Paladin junior came to number 18 with the tournament victory wrapped up, it was just a question of what the final score would be in the record books.
She hit her second shot on 18 from the fairway bunker over the green and almost in the bushes behind the final hole.
“I’d be lying to you if I told you I thought I could make it. When I was talking with my coach (Furman Women’s coach Jeff Hull) he said just get it up on the green and make your par and the next thing I know it went in. It was awesome,” Morgan said.
The birdie finished an amazing three days for Morgan. She shot rounds of 65-67-71 for the new individual tournament record of 13-under par 203.
“This was the best golf I have ever played over three days. I have no complaints,” she laughed.
Morgan had shot her way to the top of the leader board in the first round during a four hole stretch that in effect saw her card golfs’ version of a poker straight.
She had a par 4, an eagle 3, a birdie 2 and a hole in one between holes 13 and 16.
Last year’s SoCon Freshman of the Year sank a 30 foot putt for her eagle, but when it came to making her ace, the tee was well below the hole and she never saw it go in.
“I didn’t see it , but I heard some reaction form the people around the green. When I got up to the hole they told me I dunked it. It was my second hole-in one in competition. The last one was when I was in 7th grade a long time ago,” she said.
Morgan finished out the round with a pair of pars and set a new personal record for her college resume shooting a 7-under par 65 to lead the tournament by four shots.
With those kind of fireworks it is easy to see why Morgan didn’t want to put any extra pressure on herself to back up the 65 with a second great round.
“I would have been happy with 18 straight pars, but as the round went on I was hitting some more really good shots and ended up with another good score,” she said.
The Furman golfer from Spartanburg made four birdies on the front nine and added two more on the back with only one bogey to shoot a 67 and add to her individual lead.
Only teammate Sara-Eve Rheaume was able to keep Morgan within sight. Rheaume, who was the SoCon individual champion last year was 8-shots behind Morgan at the end of the second day.
In the final round Morgan bogeyed her first hole but her lead in the tournament was never in doubt. She was on a pace for an even par round until she sank her pitch shot from off the 18th green.
The birdie on the final hole gave Morgan a new tournament scoring record. She broke the record set in 2016 of 205 by two shots.
Her birdie helped the Lady Paladins wrap up an amazing tournament as the team also set a record with a 23-under par total of 841. It shattered the record of 853 set by Texas in the 2016 Invitational.
Furman placed three golfers in the top-five and four in the top-10.
Rheaume was the runner-up after shooting her third straight 70 to finish at 6-under par. Sophia Burnett shot an even par 72 in her final round to finish fifth and senior Kyra Cox tied for 7th place at even par.
Freshman Savannah Hylton contributed a counting score the first day as everyone on the team had a part in the record setting performance.
“It is easy to coach when the team plays like this” said Furman coach Jeff Hull. “All I had to do today was watch and it was fun,” he added.
Not only was it a win for the Lady Paladins, but the way they accomplished the victory is something to build on according to Hull.
“I think this tournament let our team know how good they are. We believed we were good, but this shows we are pretty good and if we can keep this up going into a couple of big tournaments this should give us a lot of confidence,” said Hull.
The Lady Paladins will next play in the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill and finish the fall portion of their season at The Landfall Tradition in Wilmington.
Morgan’s win coupled with the team victory accomplished two goals for the record setting golfer.
With a CGA Women’s Championship and a WSCGA state title to go along with a junior victory at The Blade, Morgan is not lacking for owning big wins, but there was something special about getting her first college victory.
“It is definitely up there for sure. One of my main goals was to win a college golf tournament as an individual, but also with my team. To do both those things this week, it has been a long time coming and I’m pretty excited,” concluded the Lady Paladin Invitational winner.
Final scores from the Lady Paladin Invitational http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=24157
Hear from Lady Paladin Invitational winner Anna Morgan