+ College Golf

Lady Paladins going to the NCAA, Morgan medals at SoCon

Usually at a team celebration for winning a conference title you could see a lot more golfers than the Lady Paladins had for the year. Furman had five golfers on the team and they won the SoCon title. (Furman Photo)

No matter how many golfers are on a college team, only five can play in a tournament.

College golf teams play qualifying rounds to see which five get to play in tournaments, so teams can send their best five golfers to compete.

This spring, the Furman Lady Paladins sent their best five golfers to the SoCon championship,

Furman’s best five were their only five.

Furman coach Jeff Hull and junior Caroline Crumrine talk over a shot. (Furman Photo)

“This win is extra special,” said Furman head coach Jeff Hull.  “We dealt with a lot of adversity this season ended up with just five players this spring, but these five players worked really hard and got the job done,” he said.

Furman’s five beat all the other SoCon teams, to win the school’s 20th SoCon championship

At the beginning of the year you would not have been alone if you wondered how Furman could repeat as Southern Conference champions.

There was no margin for error on the team.

With the exception of one tournament, when one of the Lady Paladins was too ill to play, the rest of the spring the five Furman golfers made it through the year and made the year special with the SoCon title.

The Lady Paladins won the championship with a convincing 19 shot victory at Moss Creek near Hilton Head.

With only five golfers, not just on the course, but on the team and did you know three of them were freshmen.

Anna Morgan entered the championship as the most accomplished golfer in the field. She lead the Lady Paladin’s to the win and claimed medalist honors.

Freshman Chloe Johnson was the runner up while freshman Faith Johnson and Caroline Crumrine each finished in a tie for tenth while yet another freshman Liza Lapeyre finished in a tie for 21st.

“Over the course of this season, we became a very close group, and it means even more to win this championship. I’m very proud of all of our players for their performance this season and especially this week,” said Hull.

The SoCon title earns the Lady Paladins a trip to an NCAA Regional.

The Regional assignments will be announced on April 26th with NCAA Regional play set to begin on May 8th.

Anna Morgan gets the water bottle shower from her teammates after winning the SoCon individual championship. (FurmanPhotos)

Morgan adds SoCon title to her

Last year Anna Morgan won just about every Furman and SoCon award, but she didn’t win the conference championship.

It would have been just about impossible for the Lady Paladin from Spartanburg to match the accomplishments of last year, so adding a new chapter as SoCon medalist kind of helped this year be just about as good.

“I guess I broke the SoCon curse,” joked Morgan. “I don’t know if it was pressure or what, but no matter how well I was playing when I got to the tournament I just had not played my best,” she said.

That changed this year. Morgan took the lead in the first round shooting a 2-under par 70 and never gave it up.

In the second round, last year’s SoCon female athlete of the year stretched her lead when she carded a 4-under par 68, the lowest round in the tournament.

In the final round Morgan shot a 4-over par 76 and finished with a 2-under par total of 214.

Her final round included three out of bounds shots that put some big numbers on her scorecard, but no one in the field was close enough to take advantage of the Lady Paladin senior’s final round.

“Hitting it out was not great, but I was proud of the way I came back. After one of them, I made two straight birdies. I think it showed how I’ve grown as a player. A few years ago it might have been different, ” she said.

Morgan finished 4-shots in front of her teammate Johnson for the SoCon title.

“I didn’t have my best stuff and I still managed to win. It gives me confidence and lets me know I have been working on all the right stuff,” she added.

While Morgan was not able to duplicate her sensational junior year, the Furman senior got a lot of satisfaction from her conference championship.

“Winning the conference and the Lady Paladin (in 2021) were two things I wanted to do when i came to Furman and I was able to check both of them off my list this year,” concluded Morgan.

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