John Morris Jr., who goes by Jack, had a pretty simple approach to closing out his final junior golf tournament — just keep making birdies.
Morris, a recent Franklin High School graduate and future Lipscomb golfer, dominated the field last week and matched or set 10 records at the 61st annual Tennessee Junior Amateur Golf Tournament at Three Ridges Golf Course in Knoxville.
“It’s just a great way to go out,” said Morris, who helped lead the Rebels golf team to a state title in October. “When I shot a 63, I turned at 3-under and my goal was to get to 6-under through the back nine, so I just tried to keep making birdie. I birdied, I think the 13 and 14 and just thought, 'well, let’s keep making birdies.'”
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Morris finished the tournament 15-under-par for a 201 over the three days, built largely on that 63 in the second round, which matched a tournament record last reached in 2014 by Davis Shore.
Morris’ tournament records he either tied or broke included: Lowest score for 54 holes with 201; Lowest score to par for 54 holes at -15; Lowest score for 18 holes at 63; Lowest score to par for 18 holes at -9; Lowest score for 9 holes at 30; Lowest score for first 36 holes at 132; lowest score to par first 36 holes at -12; lowest score for final 36 holes at 132; Lowest score to par over final 36 holes at -12.
His lowest score to par for 54 holes (-15) beat the old record by four strokes, while his lowest score to par over 18 (-9) shaved two strokes off the previous record.
“I think I just had a really good game plan going in,” Morris said. “You can get in a lot off trouble of the tee – I figured that out in the practice round – so I just tried to give myself the best looks.
“It’s an awesome feeling that I don’t think has fully set in just yet.”
Morris shot a final-round 69 on Thursday in Knoxville, despite a double-bogey on hole No. 16 and a bogey on 7. The former Rebel produced four birdies and an eagle on 12 on the final day.
Morris finished the three-day tournament with 18 birdies and a pair of eagles.
“Honestly, I feel like I hit it about as normally as I always do,” Morris said. “When I shot that 63, I didn’t think it was real.
“This is just really special. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and keep putting in the work. Hopefully, my records will stand for awhile.”
Shelbyville’s Evan Woosley-Reed, a University of Tennessee commit, finished seven strokes back for second at the tournament carding a 71-76-70 over the three days with only three holes above par. Carson Kammann of Knoxville closed tied for third after a low-round 6-under, 66 on Thursday.