Eagle Creek’s Director of Golf finished as the first runner-up in the Northern Ohio PGA Professional Championship played at Chagrin Valley Country Club this week. Now, he must wait to see if someone can not make the field for the 2019 PGA Professional national championship — which will be played in Bluffton, S.C. next spring.
Morgan played in the national event last year in California, but failed to make the 36-hole cut.
“I would say there is a good chance I will get in as the first alternate,’ Morgan said. “The big question is if will I have enough time to get sponsorship money. Last year, my expenses were almost $12,000. Fortunately, the Pinehurst area is a lot closer.”
Ironically, if two spots open for the national event — one that is televised and carries a purse of $650,000 — Plum Brook pro Eric Morgan would be in the field. While Eric Morgan shot 70-74-74—218, Dave Morgan had cards that showed totals of 70-75-73—218. They were part of a four-way playoff that ended on the fourth sudden death hole with Craig Burrows (Pine Hills Golf Club) getting the final spot.
Morgan assessed his rounds this way: “I hit a lot of good shots — most of which I did not capitalize on,” he said.
“Tying for sixth out of an 80-player field is certainly not bad,” Morgan added. “But the key to playing in a tournament of this importance is to avoid bogeys. Playing for pars is a good thing. One of those bad bogeys came on No. 5 yesterday. I had a wedge in and hit into the bunker where it buried up against the lip. It was even a good bogey from there.”
But, Morgan still gave himself a chance by playing the last 10 holes in even par.
“I felt going into the final round that playing the course between two and four over would give me a shot,” he said. “Less than that, I thought I would be a lock because it was windy and the conditions in general were not conducive to low scores.”
Morgan had putts on every hole in the playoffs that could have got him into the national tournament. He failed, however, to make just one of them.
Hitting a tree on the fourth extra hole was his downfall. He eventually made bogey allowing Burrows, who made par, to claim the last spot.
Morgan pocketed another check at right near $1,000, the same amount he made at the Lakewood tournament less than a week ago.
He has had a solid year. It has been good enough for him to make the Ohio Cup team, which sends the best from his north section against the best from the south. They will meet at Kirtland CC on Oct. 1-3. The North successfully defended last year with Morgan, then a rookie on the team, going 3-0 in head-to-head matches.
Casey Schrader, from the Pepper Pike Club, went wire-to-wire to win the Wednesday event. He shot 69-68-73—210 to finish at 3-under and win by four strokes over Mike Stone (Toledo Belmont CC) and Jim Troy (Mt. Vernon CC). The other players who advanced are Jaysen Hansen (Beechmont), Tony Adcock (Seven Hills CC), Nick Gustin (Erie Shores GC) and Burrows.
Rob Moss, Pepper Pike Club, and Ian Miller (Ohio Wesleyan University) are the third and fourth alternates for the national event.