For Morgan, a home victory just wasn't meant to be
Gil Morgan seemingly had everything going for him as he took a one-shot lead into the final round on his home course. But the local hero got out of sync late on the front nine, and couldn't overcome the two straight bogeys he made just before the turn.
By T.J. Auclair, Junior Editor
EDMOND, Okla. -- It must have been too good to be true.
Taking a one-shot lead into the final round of the 67th Senior PGA Championship, it seemed as if Gil Morgan had everything going for him.
Not only did he have a lead -- it was a lead on his home course in his home town of Edmond.
But while he put up a valiant fight, the tournament slipped out of Morgan's hands when he made consecutive bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9.
Both bogeys stung. He missed a short putt inside of four feet at No. 8, and then after hitting a perfect drive at No. 9, he hit his approach just short of the green and it rolled down the hill into a collection area.
Morgan picked up one more bogey and one more birdie on the back to finish with a 3-over 74 -- his worst score of the week by three shots -- to finish alone in third place.
"Basically I kind of got out of sync, I think on the front nine there," he said. "I think that was the story of my round today. I played very poorly for about four or five holes on the front. And then wasn't able to muster anything on the back."
Morgan admitted that the pressure of winning at home was on his mind throughout the practice round and the tournament.
"All week there was quite a bit of pressure on me to play well," he said. "The first part of the week obviously I played a little bit better, maybe I handled it a little bit better, I don't know. Just all the things that were involved probably created a little bit more stress, especially for this concluding round.
"I wasn't able to play at the level that I would like to and that's probably because of that somewhat," he added. "Any time you're in a major championship, any time you're playing at home, all those things are creating a little bit of additional pressure that you wouldn't have on the road."
Morgan, more than anyone, knew how difficult it would be to score well on his home course. Once the whipping Oklahoma winds swept through, the course really showed its teeth and bit more than a few players.
"I think it played very difficult and I think that's what they anticipated," he said. "Obviously the conditions were a factor in the scoring to some point, but at the same time it's such a challenging, demanding golf course that I think it stood up well.
"We had only five people under par for the whole tournament. That's about as good as it gets as far as tournament play most of the time," he added. "At this type of championship, you know, they're looking for single-digit winners and that's exactly what they got."
If he could have pulled off the win, Morgan at 59 years, eight months and three days, would have been the oldest Senior PGA Champion since the origin of the Champions Tour in 1980.
Turns out it wasn't quite meant to be.