Heat shield: Morrison stands up to older field
Morrison is playing it cool for a 16-year-old competing in the 110th State Amateur Championship against the state’s tournament-tested college and adult players.
The Edgerton High junior-to-be trails third-round leader Chris Meyer, 21, of Madison by three strokes heading into the tournament’s final round today at Maple Bluff Country Club.
The steady Morrison fired his second even-par 71 Wednesday for a 54-hole total of 215. Meyer shot 2-under 69 for a 212 total and holds a one-shot lead over 20-year-old Jack Schultz of Whitefish Bay, 24-year-old Mike McDonald of Germantown and 27-year-old Kyle Murphy of Eau Claire.
Meanwhile, Janesville’s Matt Behm carded a 2-over-par 73 for a 222 three-day total. Ryan Garske of Lake Geneva stands at 221 after posting a 75.
Stefan Johnson of Williams Bay carded 72 for 223 total. Austin Gaugert of Lake Geneva carded a 72 for a 224 and Dan Ozga of Edgerton posted a 79 for a 229 total.
At the WIAA Division 2 boys state golf tournament last month at University Ridge, Morrison and his Crimson Tide teammates finished sixth. Morrison shot 83-79.
“The weather bothered me,” Morrison said in a phone interview. “It was hot.’’
Morrison has survived this week’s intense heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring into the high 90s with 100-degree plus heat index readings.
“It’s nice to have a caddy,” Morrison said. “That has helped me a lot.’’
The first two days, Morrison’s father, Bill, was on his son’s bag. Bill said his son has grown up since the state tournament.
“I think he has matured as a golfer,” Bill said. “He is making a lot better decisions to keep the ball in play. He’s learned when a par is good, and he’s not taking any chances.’’
Morrison’s father added Andrew has gained confidence.
“He made four birdies (Wednesday),” Bill said. “If he makes a bogey, he’s confident he can come back.’’
Morrison admits he is not a big hitter off the tee, but he said accuracy counts for more than distance at Maple Bluff.
“I finally started hitting the ball straight (off the tee),” Morrison said. “It’s playing 6,400 yards and if you hit the ball straight, it’s a very scoreable course.’’
Morrison said he started to feel a little nervous as he closed out his round today.
“Coming down the stretch, I was at even par and I saw the leaderboard, and I felt a little anxious to post a good number,” Morrison said. “I just want to play my own game and not get too worked up.’’
Morrison’s goal is a top-25 finish for an automatic berth in next year’s State Am.
“I just want to hit the ball straight,” Morrison said.
Last updated: 5:50 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012