Furman’s Will Morlan knows a couple of things about being a co-medalist at a college golf tournament.
Earlier this fall, the Furman sophomore shared the top honor with Xavier Marcoux from Rutgers at the Old Town Collegiate played in Winston-Salem.
This weekend playing on his home course, he ended up tied for the top spot once again.
This time Daniel Cheng from James Madison matched Morlan’s 9-under par total for the 54 hole event.
It was another win for Morlan, but one that had to be shared.
“Two Co Champions,” said Morlan. ” I wish I was medalist, but never the less its very exciting,” he said.
While the competition for medalist honors was close and exciting, Chattanooga took all the suspense out of the competition for the team title.
The Mocs broke open a close race with an amazing 11-under par final round to finish at 14 under par 838 total.
Chattanooga won by those 14 shots over James Madison and Davidson as the Mocs were the only team to break par in the tournament.
The head to head competition for the individual title was a nail biter from start to finish.
Morlan opened the tournament with a 6-under par 65 to take a three shot lead over Cheng from James Madison and Alex Heffner from Davidson.
“This tournament was kind of like my other win. I had a great round to start out and that set me up for the rest of the tournament,” recalled Morlan.
Cheng moved in front of Morlan after shooting a second round under par 66 to go with his first round 68. The JMU sophomore took a 1-shot lead into the final round.
On Sunday Morlan got off to a fast start.
He birdied two of his first three holes to pull even with Cheng by the third hole and stayed even to the turn.
On the back nine Morlan looked to take control of the individual competition, but a pair of bogeys on number 13 and 14 evened the two golfers once again.
They both made birdie on the 15th hole. After that, the two made easy pars on the 16th and 17th holes,
18 was a different story as the finishing hole at the Furman Golf Course can often determine a winner.
After their second shots, neither golfer had a legitimate birdie chance.
Morlan blasted out of a green side bunker to about 6 feet above the hole,
Cheng chipped from off the green, but came up short and had a straight in putt for his par,
Morlan wasn’t as fortunate as he had to line up his par putt through the shade on the green.
“It was hard to get the line because of the shade. It just looked different. Coach and I finally decided it probably was a ball out side of the hole and I trusted the line,” he said.
Morlan’s putt rattled in the hole assuring him of at least another co-medalist finish, which it turned out to be when Cheng rolled his par putt in the hole right after Morlan.
It is very hard to win a college tournament, on any level against any field. Finishing in a tie for the top spot takes nothing away from the play of Cheng and Morlan.
“We played phenomenal golf coming down the stretch. Being neck and neck the whole day, we both had phenomenal weeks”‘ said Morlan.
The two medalist finishes for Morlan go along with a third place finish at the season opening tournament in Minnesota, followed up by the win at Old Towne.
He finished in a tie for 7th at the Trinity Forrest Invitational and the only time he has been outside the top-10 this year Morlan was 29th at the Bank of Tennessee.
As a freshman last year he was on the SoCon Freshman team and earned Academic All Conference honors as well.
This was the last event for the Paladins Fall season. During the break Morlan will play in the South Beach International Amateur and may try to qualify for the Jones Cup.
The Paladin from Alpharetta, GA is expecting to carry some of the momentum from a good fall into the spring.
“I’m looking forward to the spring. There is the potential to win more tournaments. The sky is the limit, I just have to keep grinding,” said the Furman Intercollegiate Co-Medalist.
Scores from the Furman Intercollegiate https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=player&tid=25778