Andrew Morrison had to do battle with a painful memory and the looming specter of one of the city’s all-time golf greats.
He beat both.
The 2013 Edgerton High graduate didn’t crack on a steamy Sunday afternoon at Glen Erin Golf Course, closing with a steady 3-over 74 to hold off Sam Van Galder and win his first Janesville city men’s golf title.
Morrison, who took over the tournament lead Saturday, finally lifted the silver trophy after two recent close calls.
In 2017, he held a seven-shot lead going into the final round only to collapse and eventually lose in a playoff to Erik Botts. The year before, he tied for third.
“That was a tough pill to swallow losing a seven-shot lead in one round,” Morrison said. “I just told myself, ‘Don’t get stupid. Don’t get too aggressive.’
“But when you’ve got Sam Van Galder chasing you, it’s tough. He put the pressure on me.”
Morrison entered Sunday’s final round with a two-stroke advantage over Van Galder, who had overcome an identical deficit to win his sixth title in 2016—the last time the city tournament concluded at Glen Erin.
Matt Zimmerman and Michael Oellerich, the other members of the final foursome, struggled early, leaving Morrison and Van Galder in a two-way race for the title.
But Van Galder never really challenged Morrison. He bogeyed five of his first seven holes and could not make up the deficit.
“I didn’t see fairway grass until the eighth hole. My front nine was horrendous,” said Van Galder, who shot 74 on Sunday. “Ball-striking is usually my thing. On the front nine I dug myself deep into a hole.”
Morrison also started slowly, with a birdie on No. 2 mostly obscured by three early bogeys.
Van Galder seemed to be gaining momentum after he birdied Nos. 8 and 10, but a bogey on No. 11 put him four strokes back again.
Trailing by three strokes and needing a miracle, Van Galder reached the green at the par-5 18th in two shots when he crushed a 3-wood from about 280 yards out.
“That’s the best 3-wood I’ve ever hit,” Van Galder said afterward. “That was fun with the big crowd.”
Van Galder’s eagle putt slid past the hole and he settled for a birdie and a 1-under 35 on the back nine.
“Anytime you shoot under par on the back out here usually that’s good enough. There’s disaster looming everywhere,” he said. “Andrew just played super solid.”
Morrison said he never felt like his lead was safe with Van Galder lurking, but he didn’t feel pressured to do anything aggressive. After back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 4 and 5, he parred 12 of his final 13 holes.
“If he would’ve gotten inside two shots it definitely would have made it tougher on me,” Morrison said.
Zimmerman shot 81 to place ninth at 15 over, while Oellerich, who held a two-stroke lead after Friday’s first round, shot 79 to tie for third with Ryan Coffey at 11 over.
Dustin Richards, who finished 12th, shot Sunday’s best round—a 2-over 73.
Kade Salemi won the first flight title, while Nik Sitter and Nate Farrell finished atop the second and third flights, respectively.
City men’s golf tournament
At Glen Erin Golf Course (72) FINAL RESULTS Championship flight
Andrew Morrison 75-69-74—218; Sam Van Galder 220; Ryan Coffey 226; Michael Oellerich 226; Aaron Coffey 227; Cullen Maricque 227; Joseph Lange 228; Michael Kletzien 229; Matt Zimmerman 230; Matt Kempfer 231; Brian Angileri 232; Dustin Richards 233; Daniel Thomsen 237; Gary Merk 239; Brett Hiess 239; Bob Kennedy 241; Aaron Phalin 241; Zach Tourdot 242; Shannon Dooley 242; Brentan Vivian 242; Jacob Downing 243; Jordan Manthey 243; Chad Sullivan 243; Jim Mead 247; Mark Thomsen 248.
Kade Salemi 237; Braddy Bohlman 238; Doug Sheridan 243; Efren Blanca 244; Sal Gomez 244; Kevin Riley 245; Kade Kleman 245; Jose Perez 245; Zach Milner 247; Tom Ellis 248; Zach Balch 248; Riley McLaughlin 248; Connor Kelly 249; Andrew Siefert 249; Brent Corey 249; Steven Thurner 250; Nick Drew 250; Mike Reid 250; Scott Blegen 253; Philip Konkol 254; Austin Purdy 254; Lance Baior 257; Marcus Smith 257; Ben Myers 257; Peter Hanke 259; Jake Hassinger 265.
Nik Sitter 254; Rick Berry 255; Tom Flora 257; King Clark 259; Todd Sitter 262; Mike Henry 262; Paul Burkholder 265; Brad Schumacher 265; Kevin Delap 266; Dan Bloom 266; Joel Chappelle 266; Joe Kennedy 266; Greg Mullen 267; Todd Thiele 271; Todd Cullen 271; Ryan Zimmerman 272; Jeff Brault 272; Wayne Hansen 273; Paul Schieldt 276; Matt Runde 276; Dave Botts 277; Michael Mansell 277; Jeff DeGarmo 278.
Nate Farrell 267; Sam Kisting 270; Chad Flanders 274; Larry Kotwitz 284; Timothy Sheehy 285; Brian Schroeder 285; Kyle Schwartz 286; Cris Crosby 288; Jonathan Grorud 292; Rick DeWitt 294; Dylan Benway 294; Matt Dewitt 298; Steve Grover 299; Steven Dammen 301; Keith Trembula 304; Daryl Rosenbaum 304; Doni Lux 306; Shawn Uschan 310; Dave Powers 325; Joshua Kooiman 329.