Palmetto: Myers Park wins championship
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Myers Park High (Charlotte, N.C.) golf coach Jason Lockwood still can’t tell the difference between top players and twin brothers Austin and Davis Morrison.
“They look alike, talk alike and play alike,” Lockwood said while standing less than 10 feet from the twins following Myers Park’s victory in the Palmetto High School Golf Championship. “I’ve coached them for 2 1/2 years and I still cant tell them apart.”
On Saturday at The Legends Resort’s Parkland Course in Myrtle Beach, Lockwood had a bigger but better problem; it was tough to tell all five of his players apart, at least based on their scorecards.
Austin Morrison, Luke Thelman and Phillip Oweida shot identical 2-under 74s and Davis Morrison added a 76 for a championship Flight-winning total of 10-over 298. Even fifth-man Andy Simmons shot a 78 for a balanced team effort.
“All our guys played well, and that’s what you have to do to win a big team tournament like this one,” Lockwood said of the 52-team event featuring some of the top programs in the U.S. and Canada.
“My 1-4 guys are all juniors and they all grew up playing together at the same club (Carmel CC). They’ve played together in a lot of junior events and club events over the years, so they’re very familiar with each other and comfortable playing together. They all seem to play better as a team than they do individually.”
That was certainly the case Saturday, when the rain-shortened finals resulted in 18 holes to decide the title. In breezy conditions on a course still drying out from earlier rains, Myers Park cruised to win by 16 strokes over co-runner-ups Salisbury (N.C.) High and Forsyth (Ga.) Country Day, which shot 314s.
“For us, this is huge because this is probably the biggest tournament we’ve played in,” Austin Morrison said. “Last year we finished runner-up in the state championship of North Carolina, but this is the biggest tournament we’ve played in as far as teams from all over the country.”
Davis Morrison credited the team’s cohesiveness, forged since their formative years at Carmel County Club, for helping put Myers Park on the map this weekend. “We all feed off each other and push each other to play better,” he said. “We all play hard because we don’t want to let each other down.”
Myers Park’s trio of 74s were good for second-place individual showings, with Providence Academy junior Christian Chican earning medalist honors with a 71. He fired a 72 in Friday’s qualifying round, making him the only player to shoot par or better both days.
In the First Flight, Greer (S.C.) High captured the title with a 311, edging Cape Henry Collegiate (314) and Asheboro (318) High. Blake Fiest of Lake Norman (N.C.) Charter School also fired a tournament-tying best 71 for medalist honors in the First Flight.
Tournament host North Myrtle Beach (S.C.) won the Second Flight with a 347, followed by Ayala (348) and Glendale (350), while Marshfield’s Clayton Moles shot 78 to medal in the Second Flight.